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Fight against the worst forms of child labour

Fight against the worst forms of child labour
The First Lady inaugurates the children's center of Soubré
The First Lady inaugurates the children's center of Soubré
The First Lady inaugurates the children's center of Soubré

The First Lady, Dominique Ouattara has inaugurated the center for children in distress of Soubré. The inauguration ceremony took place at the center on Thursday, June 07, 2018, in the presence of Mr. Jean-Claude Kouassi, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Chairman of the Interministerial Committee of fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CIM), Mrs Mariatou Koné, Minister of Family, Child Protection and Solidarity and Vice-President of the CIM, representatives of the institutions and NGOs engaged in the fight against child labour as well as people of Soubré.

Built by the Children of Africa Foundation, this center is the first of three (03) centers that Mrs. Dominique Ouattara's NGO has planned to build in Soubré, Bouaké and Ferkéssédougou. Its implementation provides an adequate response to lack of a transit and supervision center for child victims of trafficking and exploitation in Côte d'Ivoire before they return to home. It is now possible to properly take care of children rescued from the hands of traffickers.

This first reception center for child victims of trafficking and exploitation of Soubré is a good opportunity to efficiently fight against child labour in cocoa production area. It also shows the commitment of Mrs. Dominique Ouattara to  protect children’s rights and  to improve their living conditions.

The Soubré Children's Center was built on a plot of one hectare. It offers a capacity of 64 beds in total, two dormitories of 32 beds for girls, and two dormitories of 32 beds for boys. It also has executive offices, a health center, as well as several classrooms for training. The center also have a multimedia room, a library, a canteen, a multipurpose room and a sports field. The ceremony ended with a guided tour of the center.

During her speech,  Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of Children of Africa Foundation, took the opportunity to highlight the  measures taken for the remediation of child trafficking, exploitation and child labour. The President of the CNS also highlighted the importance and the positive impact of this reception center on the fight against the worst forms of child labour. On behalf of the US government, Brucker welcomed the First Lady's leadership in the fight against child labour. She also recalled the close links between the US government and the government of Côte d'Ivoire in the fight against this phenomenon.

Aboubakar Kampo, UNICEF country representative in Côte d 'Ivoire, expressed his gratitude for all the actions undertaken to better the lives of children in Côte d'Ivoire. However, he recalled that the number of children still involved in child labour is still significant in the south and western part of the country.

For Yves Brahima Koné, Director General of the Coffee Cocoa Council, this center shows the commitment of Mrs. Dominique Ouattara to the well being of children.

Note that during this ceremony Mrs. Dominique Ouattara made significant in kind and in cash donations worth 133 million CFA francs. On behalf of the population of Soubré, Mr. Richard Alain Donwahi, Minister of Water and Forests and President of the Regional Council of Nawa, offered food and african prints to their distinguished host.

« Nous nous sommes penchés aussi sur la protection et l’assistance, qui constitue un autre axe important. En effet, il était primordial d’arriver à prendre en charge en toute sécurité, les enfants victimes de traite et d’exploitation, une fois arrachés aux mains des trafiquants. La réalisation de cet objectif passait nécessairement, par la construction d’un centre d’accueil adapté à la réintégration sociale et à la prise en charge des enfants victimes. L’objectif visé étant de favoriser leur encadrement psychologique, et leur réintégration à la cellule familiale », a-t-elle précisé. En outre, Madame la Première Dame a lancé un appel aux partenaires engagés dans la lutte contre le travail des enfants pour l’accentuation de la lutte contre ce phénomène. « Pour le bien-être et l’épanouissement de nos enfants, aucun sacrifice n’est trop grand, c’est pourquoi, je voudrais lancer un appel solennel à tous nos partenaires, afin que les efforts en vue de l’élimination des pires formes de travail des enfants dans notre pays, soient accentués », a-t-elle plaidé. Pour l’épouse du chef de l’Etat cela passe par le renforcement de l’accès à l’école de tous les enfants vivant en Côte d’Ivoire et par l’amélioration des conditions de vies des producteurs.
Madame Mariatou Koné, Ministre de la Famille, de la protection de l’Enfant et de la Solidarité, par ailleurs, vice-Présidente du CIM a salué l’engagement de la Première Dame pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie des enfants. Elle s’est félicité de construction de ce centre qui permettra de recueillir les enfants arrachés des mains des trafiquants en vue de favoriser leur intégration dans leur famille d’origine.
Des propos partagé par Madame Katherine Brucker, chargée d’affaires de l’Ambassade des Etats Unis en Côte d’Ivoire.