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Unaccompanied Minor Refugee Nonviolence and Integration Program-Malta

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In coordinating with The Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants (FSM) on Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) for refugees arriving in Malta, Communities Without Boundaries International (CWBI) and FSM have identified the need to structure a program towards addressing the abuses unaccompanied minors face while making their voyage.

Refugees face a series of challenges on their voyage to asylum, they may have experienced, witnessed or committed acts amounting to the breaching of human rights.

These abuses may have taken place in their countries of origin, countries of transit, or in other countries which asylum seekers may have traveled to and returned. The voyage is riddled with conflict, lending towards their attitudes of violence. Of all the asylum seekers who make the journey, 28-30% are unaccompanied minors. According to the International Organization on Migration (IOM), these minors usually flee from their home countries involuntarily, as a result of religious persecution, family reunification, political and economic issues,  poverty, and human rights abuses. The IOM contains another report detailing abuses of child prostitution, child marriages, slavery and recruitment of child soldiers.

Upon their arrival in Malta, asylum seekers are detained and processed, placed in centers with minimal care and support. Recognizing the dangers of an asylum seekers journey and the minimal care provided when they arrive to their destination, FSM and CWBI are proposing a program specific to meeting  migrants needs upon their arrival in  Malta. It will be generated by conducting comprehensive assessments of the targeted migrant populations and carried out by educating and training the targeted population groups in nonviolence strategies for preventing, managing, and resolving conflict and carrying out individual and community development projects that foster their independence. Alongside the educational component, technical assistance will be given to support the efficacy and sustainability of the integration process.

These trainings and education are meant to target unaccompanied minors empowering them to be independent individuals who can achieve positive change through nonviolent means, making progress towards healing their own trauma and improving the quality of their lives, while positively contributing to the communities in which they integrate.