Refugee babies, boys, girls, women, men – Global issues

Two young victims of human trafficking, rescued from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp, are being supported at a shelter in Malawi. Credit: UNODC
  • by Baher Kamal (Madrid)
  • Joint press service

One of them was the Malawi refugee camp, where the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported such inhumane behavior (UNODC) and the Malawian Police Department.

“I have even witnessed a kind of Sunday market where people come to buy children, who are then exploited in situations of forced labor and prostitution,” said June 11. UNODCMaxwell Matewere.

Dzaleka refugee camp, the largest in Malawi, was established in 1994 and is home to more than 50,000 refugees and asylum seekers from five different countries. It was originally designed to hold 10,000 people.

Most of the 90 victims rescued so far are men from Ethiopia, aged between 18 and 30, while there are girls and women, aged 12 to 24, from Ethiopia, Burundi and the Republic of China. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

A human trafficking processing center

The UNODC report also explains that women and girls are sexually exploited inside the Dzaleka refugee camp, or transported for the purpose of sexual exploitation to other countries in South Africa, while men Refugees are subjected to forced labor in camps or on farms in Malawi and other countries in the region.

The camp is also being used as a processing center for victims of human trafficking. Traffickers recruit victims back home under false pretexts, arranging for them to cross the border into Malawi and enter camps.


Other refugee camps, such as the Rohingya camp in Myanmar, home to a million people, are also being closely monitored.

Add to that millions more who become easy prey for traffickers and smugglers, victims of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, not to mention some six million Palestinian refugees.

An entire continent is moving

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said ahead of World Refugee Day 2022.

“We have countries like Haiti with 26% food inflation, and we have other countries that are really off the charts even with food inflation,” said Lola Castro. WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The people’s daily lives are so degraded that they have no choice but to leave their communities and head north, even if it means risking their lives, she he explained.

“You are all watching the caravans, the caravans of migrants move and we used to talk about migration happening from the north of Central America, but now, unfortunately, we are talking about migration in the hemisphere. We have the whole continent on the move. ”

Darien distance

One of the clearest signs of man’s despair is his willingness to risk his life across the Darien Gap, a particularly arduous and treacherous forest route in Central America that allows travel from the south of the continent to north.

“In 2020, 5,000 people have crossed the Darien Gap, migrating from South America into Central America, and you know, in 2021, 151,000 people have crossed, and this is 10 days of trekking, the last 10 days. rivers, cross mountains and people die because this is one of the most dangerous forests in the world. “

For these migrants, the reason why they are moving is simple, the WFP official explained: “They are leaving communities where they have lost everything because of the climate crisis, they have no security. food, they are not able to feed their people and their families. ”

United Nations data indicates that of the 69 economies currently experiencing food, energy and financial shocks, 19 are in the Latin American and Caribbean regions.

The highest number of displaced children ever

Conflict, violence and other crises have displaced a record 36.5 million children by the end of 2021, UNICEFestimate – the highest number recorded since the Second World War.

This number, reported by UNICEF on June 17, includes 13.7 million refugee and asylum-seeking children and nearly 22.8 million children displaced by conflict and violence.

These figures do not include children displaced by climate and environmental shocks or disasters, nor those newly displaced by 2022, including as a result of the war in Ukraine.

20 people running… every minute

According to UNHCR, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, terror or terror.

But while the world’s professional bodies have made legal distinctions between migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, internal migrants, stateless people, returnees, and so on, the reality is that they are all victims of inhuman suffering.

100 million… now

By the end of 2021, the total number of people worldwide forcibly displaced from their homes due to conflict, violence, fear of persecution and human rights abuses will be 89.3 million, UN Refugee Agency (UN Refugee Agency)UNHCR) report before the annual World Refugee Day marked 20 June.

Armed conflict in 23 countries

If ongoing conflicts remain unresolved and the risks of new conflicts not remedied, a defining aspect of the twenty-first century will be “the continually increasing number of people forced to flee and the choices are increasingly dire for them.”

Regarding the wave of forced displacement caused by conflict, UNHCR cites World Bank data, which reports that in all, 23 countries with a combined population of 850 million face “medium intensity conflict” medium or high intensity”.

Poor countries have 4 out of 5 refugees

Data from the UNHCR report highlights the important role the world’s developing countries play in sheltering displaced people, with low- and middle-income countries accounting for more than four-quarters of the population. five number of refugees in the world.

With 3.8 million refugees within its borders, Turkey is home to the largest number of refugees, followed by Colombia, with 1.8 million (including Venezuelan nationals), Uganda and Pakistan. (1.5 million each) and Germany (1.3 million).

Compared to their national population, the Caribbean island of Aruba is home to the largest number of Venezuelans emigrating abroad (one in six), while Lebanon has the largest number of refugees (one in eight), followed by Curaçao (one in 10), Jordan (one in 14) and Turkey (one in 23).

All of the above adds to the specific case of the growing number of victims of climate change that IPS reported in its document: What will Europe, the United States, do with a billion climate refugees?

Not new, Europeans mostly traded with humans

Such horrifying practice was widespread over four centuries ago, mostly by the European powers, who captured, chained, and transported millions of Africans to their countries: the United States of America. United States, as well as their colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Just see what the secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres, said in his message last year International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Today “we honor the memory of millions of people of African descent who suffered under brutal slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.”

This trade has created and perpetuated a global system of exploitation that has existed for more than 400 years, devastating families, communities and economies, the head of the United Nations said.

Mr. Guterres added, “We remember with humility the resilience of those who endured atrocities committed by traffickers and slave owners, and by those who benefited from the regime. condemnation of slavery.

“The transatlantic slave trade ended more than two centuries ago, but the ideas of white supremacy underpinning it still linger.”

© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service

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