Presentation on theme: "Strengthening Child Protection Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa:"— Presentation transcript:
1 Strengthening Child Protection Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Call to ActionInter-agency group – talking point on who we are2009 – orginal group – UNICEF, Save, Plan – expanded to plan for the Dakar conference in May 2012Expanded to include other agencies interested in signing up – still open for new members – this is a movement – not a closed group!
2 Child Protection Systems Actors CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEMS IN AFRICA Child protection seeks to guarantee the right of all children to a life free from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in both emergency and non-emergency settingsSystemsThe best way to achieve that rightActorsChildren and youth, families, communities, government, civil society, and private organisations
3 INTRODUCTION: GLOBAL AND REGIONAL CONTEXT Significant changes in how the global community is approaching child protectionHigher income countries– increasing focus on cost-effective early intervention, prevention and family supportMiddle and low-income countries – moving from single issue approaches to a comprehensive systems strengthening approachPartners in West & Central Africa start a group to discuss the mapping of child protection systems in their region. They are later joined by partners in East & Southern Africa for the preparation of the conference. Progressively, it is hoped the group is joined by North African partners in order to establish a Pan-African mouvement
4 IMPORTANCE OF CHILD PROTECTION High prevalence rates of violence, exploitation and abuse across the continentThis is correlated with poor physical and mental health, including HIV-incidence, and lower educational participation and performanceInvestments in child protection can accordingly strengthen human capital and increase national income over the medium to long term – protection is not solely a ‘rights’ issue.
5 THE SYSTEMS APPROACH WHERE WE ARE COMING FROM… WHERE WE ARE HEADING… Projects – focus on a narrow activitiesFocus on categories of children – vertical approachesFocus on services/case management for individual childrenShort term planning – 1-2 year project cyclesDuplication, Waste, Missed OpportunitiesWHERE WE ARE COMING FROM…WHERE WE ARE HEADING…Programmes – coordinated activities with a more coherent, ambitious visionFocus on all vulnerable children – not just categories – move toward horizontal programmingFamily-centred approach - strengthening families and communitiesLong term planning – 5 to 10 year visionCoordination, Efficient and Effective use of limited resources
6 KEY EVENTS AND DOCUMENTS 1999: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child2006: African Youth Charter; UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children2008: UNICEF’s Global Child Protection Strategy2009: Countries in sub-Saharan Africa launched processes to map and understand the systems in place and decide on key priorities for action2010: Chapin Hall Paper – Described key elements that every system – including a child protection system - should have2012: Dakar Conference – to reinforce, support and sustain national efforts to improve the impact of child protection systems on children2012: Delhi Conference – A better way to protect all children2013: Joint Statement meetings and preparationTalking point – Mapping – has occurred all over the world……….focus on SSA – chosen for the conferenceHalf the countries have now undertaken some form of mapping or assessment of their system.
7 WHY A JOINT INTER-AGENCY STATEMENT? To present our common understanding of child protection systems in sub-Saharan Africa and why they are important and worthy of investmentTo issue a call to action to governments, the African Union, regional economic communities, multilateral agencies, donors, the private sector, academia, civil society organisations, communities and organised children’s and youth groups.
8 Civil society and private organizations THE ACTORSGovernmentCivil society and private organizationsCommunitiesChildrenFamilies
9 Appropriate policies, legislation and regulations ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEMAppropriate policies, legislation and regulationsWell-defined structures and functions and adequate capacitiesSupportive social normsEffective promotion, prevention and response actionsHigh quality evidence and data for decision-makingEfficient fiscal management and sufficient resource allocation.When these elements and actors work together, they create a system that is better able to protect all children.Actors
10 WORKING SYSTEMICALLY IN AFRICA The systems approach to child protection acknowledges that children face complex problems that require a multi-disciplinary response.A single child might suffer from severe neglect, exploitation, family separation, and sexual violence.Exposure to multiple risks can greatly increase the likelihood of harm to the individual child.
11 SYSTEMS STRENGTHENING IN AFRICA Mapping the system – nearly half the countries have completed or launched exercises to map and assess their systemDeveloping national policies and coordination mechanismsIncluding protection in national budgets and medium term expenditure frameworksIntegrated Service Models at the decentralized level – that rely heavily on community-based child protection mechanismsSocial Service Workforce StrengtheningMonitoring and Evaluation – VAC prevalence studiesPresenter to provide more concrete examples from their experienceMay need to add more slides here with concrete examples – Tanzania – VAC prevalence study and systems strengthening in 4 Deparments, Ghana – participatory development of a National Policy and baseline data; Cote d’Ivoire – Work with Health and Education Ministries to define their mandates for CP as well as developing a new community based role for Social Workers, DRC – protected communities
12 Fatou’s father left her mother when she was six. ………….. HOW DOES THE SYSTEMS APPROACH MAKEA DIFFERENCE TO CHILDREN?Fatou’s father left her mother when she was six. …………..
13 HOW DOES A SYSTEMS APPROACH MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO CHILDREN?At each step along the way, a strong child protection system can make a difference
14 Fatou’s father left her mother when she was six Fatou’s father left her mother when she was six. Her mother could no longer cope so she was sent to live with her Uncle in the cityHer Uncle’s friend came round a lot to visit. He soon started buying Fatou gifts and began to abuse her repeatedlyShe kept silent as she felt scared and did not know who to tellMany months later, her Aunt discovered what was happening and immediately took Fatou to the hospitalShe received some treatment for the bleeding, but the Aunt told her not to say anything as this would bring shame on the familyAlthough her Uncle’s friend did not come round anymore, Fatou found it difficult to concentrate in school
15 If the local social services were aware that Fatou’s mother was struggling financially, they could have provided a cash grant to help the family and prevent the initial separationIf teachers at Fatou’s school had been trained in child protection, they might have noticed her changing behaviour in class and referred the case to the local child protection teamIf Fatou’s Aunt had heard on the radio a broadcast on what to do if she knew someone who was being abused, she might have call the free HelplineAnd if the health worker who assessed Fatou was part of an integrated services board in his town, he may have reported the case to the police and ensured the perpetrator was put in prison
16 WE CALL FOR: CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION 1.continued and expanded collaboration on child protection systems strengthening among all civil society actors (organisations, communities and their leaders, families, young people and children) to ensure that their efforts reinforce each other and are enriched by the sharing of resources and experience;2. more systematic and sustained efforts to monitor and evaluate civil society involvement in child protection systems strengthening, providing feedback on successful approaches to all partners in the system;State Parties reports – template/steps to include in the analysis of the state party reports – support- General comment – Strengthening Child Protection Systems in Africa – linked to African Charter
17 WE CALL FOR:actors; and3. further development of the role of civil society as the essential link in child protection systems strengthening between formal and less formal elements, providing the formal actors with knowledge and understanding of the communitylevel while building capacity of the civil society4. strengthening and reinforcement by traditional and faith leaders and local representatives of community values, norms and practices that protect children, and advocacy for the transformation of those practices that put children at risk.