H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover,
President of the Association Mondiale des Amis de l’Enfance visits the mother-child space
opened by AMADE and the Monaco Red Cross in the camp for migrants in Ventimiglia
On 12 April 2018, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover in Her capacity as Chair of the Association Mondiale des Amis de l’Enfance (AMADE), Madame Béatrice Casiraghi and the members of the Board of Directors of AMADE went to “Campo Roya,” a reception camp for migrants in Ventimiglia, with a view to meeting migrants who are unaccompanied minors (UAMs) and the families supported by the association.
Early in the year, AMADE, as part of its action on behalf of UAMs and in partnership with the Monaco Red Cross, opened a mother-child space in the Ventimiglia prefectural camp. In this dedicated space for children and mothers, a real temporary refuge on the road to exile, particular attention is paid to young children in a vulnerable situation, to mothers suffering post-traumatic syndromes, relating to the loss of a child on their passage or to the abuse they have suffered. In addition to the legal and psychological support on offer there, various fun and recreational activities are organised by volunteers.
The prefectural camp managed by the Italian Red Cross is, in fact, the only refuge in the town able to host unaccompanied minor migrants (UAMs), women and families. With a maximum capacity of 680 migrants, the camp at the time of this visit was accommodating about ten minors from Syria or Nigeria.
Welcomed by Mme Silvana Tizzano, Prefect of the Imperia Region, and Mme Gabriella Salvioni, head of the camp for the Italian Red Cross, this trip was a chance for the Princess of Hanover and Madame Casiraghi to talk with the children and mothers there, to meet the teams of Terre des Hommes Italy, partner of AMADE Mondiale, as well as the volunteers from the Monaco Red Cross who organise various recreational activities in this space (music, storytelling and drawing workshops, language learning,...). The delegation from AMADE was keen on this occasion to emphasise the quality and the commitment of the Italian Red Cross in charge of the running of the camp.
The team from Terre des Hommes Italy, made up of lawyers, psychologists, and teachers, supports the UAMs and families temporarily hosted at the camp as well as those young migrants arriving at the station of Ventimiglia who, in most cases, are unaware of their rights, nor of the services available in the town. Support for UAMs and families with children (delivery of information specific to the status of refugees and migrants, legal support, cultural mediation, and protection) is carried out around the train station, in the streets of Ventimiglia and also along the river Roya where many migrants stay in very poor conditions.
Thus, advance action by Terre des Hommes Italy, from the arrival of migrants at Ventimiglia station, enables identification of the most vulnerable cases that can be referred to Campo Roya.
In addition to the partnership with Terre des Hommes Italy, AMADE is engaged on behalf of UAMs with the aim of promoting their occupational and social integration. In Germany, thanks to a partnership with the Roland Berger Foundation, some forty UAMs who qualify for permanent residence in Europe are completely looked after in a reception centre and follow a curriculum of occupational training and a mentoring programme.
Finally, AMADE is currently supporting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in carrying out a study concerning the situation of UAMs in France and Belgium.
Europol reported at the end of January 2016 that more than 10,000 UAMs had disappeared in Europe in two years, almost half in Italy.