exploitation and abuse and are engaged in
exploitative conditions of work, said the
minister of Health and Social Welfare.
Ms Fatim Badjie was addressing participants from
different African countries at the week-long
meeting for the coordinators of West African
Network on Children on the move.
Underway at Paradise Suites Hotel, Kololi, the
participants are drawn from Mali, Senegal,
Niger, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast and
In West Africa, several tens of thousands of
children are estimated to be in need of special
protection, especially from abuse, human
trafficking and slave trading.
According to the Health minister, these made
children suffer both physical and psychological
harm with irreparable effects.
The meeting was funded by the International
Social Service (ISS) Swiss
Foundation to reduce the movement related risks
for children in West Africa, Europe and
The Child and Environmental Development
Association The Gambia is a partner to the
“Every child needs a preventive environment that
embraces all areas of social live, where laws,
behaviour and practice minimise children’s
susceptibility to risk as well strengthen their
own resilience,” minister Badjie added.
She called for the protection of children and
mindset of families’ beliefs and practice but
condemned the pester of parents to give children
appropriate guidance as they grow up to
”Just because a child possesses rights
does not mean that every dispute between
children and parents will end up in a court of
law or police state,” she said, noting that
relying on love alone for a child’s wellbeing
cannot ensure protection when units erode or
when the trust of the child for protection is