Music For Life : Belgian federal government allocates 100.000 EUR in favor of projects supporting human rights in Burundi and Tunisia

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo made a donation of 100.000 EUR to the fundraising operation “de Warmste Week”. This amount will be allocated to a project supporting victims of human trafficking in Tunisia (Avocats sans Frontières) and the improvement of youth rights in Burundi (KIYO). Minister De Croo handed over the cheque this morning to Music For Life. The operation is taking place this year in the Puyenbroeck domain in Wachtebeke, in East Flanders.

Avocats sans Frontières (ASF) will use the 50.000 EUR to better protect victims of human trafficking in Tunisia. The NGO will launch an awareness campaign on human trafficking, create centers for victims and train lawyers specialized in this issue.

 
Taboo

The images of CNN showing African migrants sold as slaves in Libya have recently confronted us to the reality of human trafficking. It is essential to better protect victims and to help them defend their rights. This is what Avocats sans Frontières does” declared Alexander De Croo.

In Tunisia, victims of human trafficking – often children – are particularly vulnerable to forced labour, domestic exploitation or prostitution. The country has certainly done a number of important legislative changes these last years, but the issue remains taboo. People are not well informed and victims are not keen to witness.

Our awareness campaign was launched a few months ago. It has already brought good results and helped people to change their mind on the issue. This extra support allows us to strengthen our activities: we will be able to map the phenomenon of human trafficking in Tunisia, to make a documentary and to build a website” indicated Chantal van Cutsem, ASF’s Director General.

 
Citizens making their voices be heard

The other share of 50.000 EUR will go to KIYO, an NGO supporting the socio-economic independence of the youth. “ In Burundi, more than 800.000 children live in very precarious conditions. By giving more opportunities to the youth and by training them to become qualified workers, active entrepreneurs and citizens capable of making their voice heard, they will become more autonomous and will be able to actively contribute to the reconstruction of the country” stated Alexander De Croo.

Concretely, KIYO will accompany and train street children or children who are out of the school system in eight neighborhoods of Bujumbura and Gitega. With technical competences and more confidence in themselves, they will be able to build a future and have the opportunity to get involved in their neighborhood and to contribute to the peaceful reconstruction of their country where human rights and democracy are very fragile.

We are very happy with the support given to our project in Burundi by Minister De Croo. We will be able to give young Burundians the prospect of job opportunities and give me a push for a better future. This will profit not only them but also the whole country” declared Iris Bogaerts, Director General of KIYO.

 
Human rights, a priority

In the framework of its policy of international development, Belgium puts a strong focus on the improvement of human rights of vulnerable groups. We are happy to be able to support, with Music For Life, two NGO’s working in the field in sometimes difficult conditions” concluded Alexander De Croo.