Meet the PROMIS* Champions

14-12-2020

Every week, we introduce you to one of the PROMIS project champions. People from all over West Africa who, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, have continued to defend the rights of migrants and victims of human trafficking throughout the global health pandemic.

*The PROMIS project is a joint initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that aims to strengthen the capacity of West African states to develop a human rights-based response to migrant smuggling and to respond effectively to human rights violations related to irregular migration. The initial implementation of the project focuses on Mali, Niger, Senegal, The Gambia, and Côte d'Ivoire, with a subsequent extension to other West African countries.

The champion of the week:

Adama Mbengue, President of ADHA – Action Pour Les Droits Humains Et L’Amitié (Sénégal).

Below is an excerpt from the interview conducted with OHCHR. To read the full interview (in french), click here

 

What are ADHA's main activities and areas of intervention today and what is your role, within the structure, as President?  

With the sharp increase in so-called irregular migration, the despair of young people, resulting from unemployment, violence, idleness and poverty, we have set up a project divided into three areas. Firstly, raising awareness through an interactive framework between young people and all the actors. Then the organisation of capacity building sessions and finally the setting up of a framework that would serve as a platform for young people to defend their rights themselves, guide them in the financing structures, assist them, push them to take their responsibilities and to believe in their own capacities to develop Africa and Senegal in particular.

How does the PROMIS project fit into ADHA's activities?

The PROMIS project has inspired us a lot in our actions and approaches. Indeed, we had participated in the national consultation day on the law on the smuggling of migrants and the launch of the PROMIS project. We also worked closely with the OHCHR & UNODC migration team (PROMIS) on our national capacity building project.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your own activities and in particular the work around the clandestine emigration of young Senegalese people?

The COVID-19 pandemic affected, on the one hand, our actions and, on the other hand, our new approach consisting of awareness-raising and contact caravans in the different localities of the country. On the other hand, to promote a new option which consists of presenting a successful role model or return migrant as a reference for young people and who will interact with them on his experience.

In the context of the pandemic, what should be the priorities (of States, civil society organisations, international and regional institutions) so that the policies or decisions that can deal with migratory phenomena are effective, according to your experience?

According to our experience, young people must be trusted by raising their awareness, giving them a voice, making them responsible and making them take up the fight. They must also be given the means to develop a youth policy that is likely to meet their aspirations, and to provide them with the framework and guidance they need to achieve the objectives they have set themselves. Only the total involvement of young people can reverse the trends. 

 

For more information:

Discover the PROMIS* champions who are working for the protection and promotion of the human rights of migrants during COVID 19

The interview in full (in French) : Adama Mbengue