Dakar (Senegal), 9 June 2020 - More than 500 children have been taken off the streets in Senegal and returned to their families as a safeguarding measure against the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to coordinated efforts between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), USAID and the Senegalese Ministry of Family and Child Protection.
UNODC is working closely with the government of Senegal to protect the country’s street children from the impact of the deadly coronavirus in line with UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for urgent action to support the world’s children amid the universal crisis.
The authorities, national stakeholders, UNODC and international partners launched an identification process to locate children in need in Dakar through foot patrols organized by NGOs, to facilitate either family reunification or the placement of children in transit shelters or alternative families within the community.
So far around 500 children have been removed from the streets and placed in child services housing centres for 14 days. They were also tested for Covid-19 before their return to their families. Medical equipment has also been handed over to the ministry to assist the return of the children.