Zambia Highlighted as Positive Practice in the NextGen Index Global Launch

The new Global NextGen Index ranks how 20 countries treat their migrant children, holding governments accountable to their obligations and supporting them to fulfil their commitments.

A video of the launch webinar is available for viewing here, highlighting positive practice in Zambia:

 

Featuring panelists from country committees around the globe, and moderated by Leeanne Torpey, Coordinator of the Global Campaign, the webinar shared how countries were scored, important findings, and national advocacy strategies moving forward, featuring:

  • Mariane Quintao, Brazil NextGen Committee
  • Chando Mapoma and Caphas Njobvu, Zambia NextGen Committee
  • Laetitia Van der Vennet, Belgium NextGen Committee

The results of the Index show that it is possible to protect the liberty of the next generation, but it requires action today. Four States from Africa were included in the Index:

The Global NextGen Index uses a comprehensive framework to assess the use of child immigration detention, assign a score and determine a global ranking.

The index found dramatic variations in how States treat migrant children, with some avoiding detention and others causing irreparable harm.

The two panelists from IOM Zambia, Chando Mapoma and Caphas Njobvu, were able to provide insight into alternatives to detention that have been shown to be effective in a country that has eight land borders.

The two panelists from IOM Zambia, Chando Mapoma and Caphas Njobvu, were able to provide insight into alternatives to detention that have been shown to be effective in a country that has eight land borders. Currently, Zambia does not detain unaccompanied migrant children who are seeking asylum. However, other children, including those migrating with their families, are detained on the basis of migration status.

 

The Zambian NextGen Committee (right) present at the Global Launch of the NextGen Index

 

“The Zambian Government has shown a real willingness to work to end child immigration detention, and this is reflected in the results of the scorecard” said Chando Mapoma. He reflected that Zambia had performed well on signing relevant treaties to protect children, and processing, but that the score could be improved by expanding alternatives to include all children, rather than just asylum seekers.

“Whole of society training and capacity building has really been important to ensure change”

Caphas Njobvu has developed the training for the National Referral Mechanism, which provides guidelines to identify vulnerable groups like refugees, victims of human trafficking and children, to ensure that they are not detained unnecessarily or for prolonged periods. “Whole of society training and capacity building has really been important to ensure change” said Njobvu, who highlighted significant processes that support the referral mechanism, such as Best Interest Determinations, which have been developed in partnership with agencies.

It is shown that even short periods of detention seriously harm children’s psychological and physical well-being – the impacts can last a lifetime.

“It doesn’t have to be this way – sustainable and meaningful change must be led by our governments, and this index provides informed examples of how change is possible.”

Global Campaign Coordinator, Leeanne Torpey, says “It doesn’t have to be this way – sustainable and meaningful change must be led by our governments, and this index provides informed examples of how change is possible.”