PANAMA / MIGRANT CHILDREN

Preview Language:   Original
05-Mar-2020 00:01:51
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the number of migrant children crossing the Darien Gap, a jungled portion of land separating Colombia from Central America, increased more than seven-fold to nearly 4,000 in 2019 from 522 the year before. UNICEF

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STORY: PANAMA / MIGRANT CHILDREN
TRT: 1 :51
SOURCE: UNICEF
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNICEF ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: NATS

DATELINE: 14 FEBRUARY 2020, DARIEN PROVINCE, PANAMA

SHOTLIST:

1. Aerial shots, Bajo Chiquito, Darien Province, Panama
2. Aerial shot, Darien Gap Jungle discovering Bajo Chiquito community
3. Med shot, migrant family walking
4. Wide shot, family registering with SENAFRONT authorities
5. Various shots, African migrant family crossing the Chucunaque river arriving at Bajo Chiquito
6. Various shots, family walking through path in Darien Gap Jungle
7. Close up, African adolescent on board boat travelling from Bajo Chiquito to La Peñita
8. Med shot, migrant girl pouring water from UNICEF partners water distribution supply system
9. Med shot, migrant father bathing baby in migrant shelter
10. Close up, UNICEF officer showing children how to wash their hands along with Panamanian Red Cross Officer
11. Wide shot, migrant families walking through migrant shelter
12. Wide shot, UNICEF and partners child friendly spaces entrance
13. Various shots, migrant child and child from La Peñita community at UNICEF and partners child friendly space

STORYLINE:

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the number of migrant children crossing the Darien Gap, a jungled portion of land separating Colombia from Central America, increased more than seven-fold to nearly 4,000 in 2019 from 522 the year before.

UNICEF said approximately 50 per cent of the children were under six years old. Migrants who crossed in 2019 hailed from more than 50 different countries including India, Somalia, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bangladesh.

The findings are based on data from national migration services.

UNICEF warned of the grave risks facing migrant children and their families who make this perilous journey. Risks include no access to safe water, as well as exposure to natural hazards, dangerous animals, robbery, abuse and exploitation.

UNICEF said migrants arriving to Panama after crossing the Darien Gap are received at the Migrant Reception Station (ERM) shelter of La Peñita in Darien Province, one of the least developed provinces of Panama. They are then transported by Migration Authorities to the ERM of Los Planes in Chiriqui Province at the border with Costa Rica. The Fund added that most will continue northwards, hoping to reach the United States or Canada.

UNICEF said, along with its partners, it was supporting national efforts to protect the rights of children on the move, while in transit through Panama. This work includes the development of local and national capacities while implementing the following interventions:
• The provision of humanitarian supplies, nutritional screenings, pregnancy check-ups and healthcare for arriving migrants;
• Installation of water systems bringing more than 30,000 litres of safe water per day for migrants, host communities, school and government institutions;
• Support for improvement of sanitation conditions and hygiene practices; and
• Establishment of child-friendly spaces where migrant and local children can play and receive psychosocial and early childhood development support, and where mothers can rest and breastfeed their babies safely.

As the number of migrant children crossing the Darien Gap is expected to rise, UNICEF said it would continue its presence on the ground – providing services in water and sanitation, health, and child protection for the remainder of 2020. This would help strengthen local and national capacities to respond to the needs of not only migrant children but also those who live in the host communities.

UNICEF urged governments and the international community to take immediate action to help protect all refugee and migrant children, including by tackling the root causes driving children from their homes; ensuring access to education, healthcare and other essential services for all migrant children; keeping families together; ending the detention of migrant children and putting in place alternative care measures; eradicating xenophobia and discrimination; and protecting child migrants from exploitation and violence.
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UNICEF
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unifeed200305g
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2538600