ARMM to work with UNICEF and IOM on children and migrant issues
Cotabato City (31 August 2014) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will work with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to improve condition of children and migrants in the region and tackle challenges brought about by internal displacement.
In separate meetings on Friday, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman briefly discussed the challenges on conflict, displacement, human rights and children’s rights in the region with the respective chief country representative of the two international humanitarian agencies.
Marco Boasso, IOM Philippines chief of mission, who was on his first courtesy call to the ARMM chief, said: “We would like to work closely with the ARMM as our partner in addressing the root cause and consequences of migration.”
The ARMM government and IOM have signed an agreement to collaborate in securing the rights and welfare of migrants.
Boasso lauded the ARMM government for its efforts in mitigating recurring issues caused by conflict and displacement.
Addressing the ARMM governor as a “well-reputed executive person”, Boasso assured IOM’s all-out support to the regional leadership in the context of protection and support to victims of displacement.
Boasso and Hataman have also agreed to achieve maximum cooperation and coordinated efforts related to the rehabilitation and development of the autonomous region, which is composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.
Meanwhile, in a separate meeting, Ann-Charlotte Sylwander, the new country representative of UNICEF, discussed with Hataman the issues of child protection and child trafficking in the region.
Hataman gave Sylwander a copy of ARMM’s comprehensive strategic plan against trafficking crafted by the ARMM Council against Trafficking (ACAT).
Sylwander, optimistic about the instituted reforms in ARMM and the preparations for smooth transition to the political entity envisioned to follow it, encouraged the ARMM government to complete its database for children in the region.
Hataman thanked the UNICEF for its consistent support to the region. “It is part of our thrusts to ensure everything’s in place for the transition, from data management to infrastructures; we are directing our focus towards the general welfare of our people.” (Bureau of Public Information)