International migration increased threefold in 40 years to reach 240 million people in recent years. To this must be added internal migration. Internal migrants move inside their country’s borders for reasons akin to international migrants’: economic, political, or conflict-related. Internal migrants are of course endowed with the same rights at their fellow citizens. In reality, however, they are often treated like second-rate citizens, deprived of the most fundamental rights and sometimes even of their identity, and enslaved.
China has more than 230 million internal migrants, including 20 million children.
India has 10 million internal migrants, of whom 10 percent are children.
For the youngest migrants who are forced to move with their parents, it’s often impossible to follow any form of schooling. A third of them have never been to school. Most of the time, they are subjected to forced labour and exploited for over ten hours a day, without care or adequate food.
Aide et Action improves the living conditions of migrant children (habitat, hygiene, access to drinking water, basic health care) and fosters access to education by creating ‘bridge’ schools to allow children to gradually reintegrate the traditional educational system.
Besides access to education, Aide et Action works with Indian and Chinese local authorities towards greater recognition of migrant populations’ basic rights. We insist on the fact that these populations must be included in the national census, given identity cards, eligible to social welfare, and accompanied and monitored in their movements.