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Strengthening Child Protection Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa:

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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 Action Inter-agency group – talking point on who we are 2009 – orginal group – UNICEF, Save, Plan – expanded to plan for the Dakar conference in May 2012 Expanded 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 settings Systems The best way to achieve that right Actors Children and youth, families, communities, government, civil society, and private organisations

Significant changes in how the global community is approaching child protection Higher income countries– increasing focus on cost-effective early intervention, prevention and family support Middle and low-income countries – moving from single issue approaches to a comprehensive systems strengthening approach Partners 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

High prevalence rates of violence, exploitation and abuse across the continent This is correlated with poor physical and mental health, including HIV-incidence, and lower educational participation and performance Investments 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.

Projects – focus on a narrow activities Focus on categories of children – vertical approaches Focus on services/case management for individual children Short term planning – 1-2 year project cycles Duplication, Waste, Missed Opportunities WHERE WE ARE COMING FROM… WHERE WE ARE HEADING… Programmes – coordinated activities with a more coherent, ambitious vision Focus on all vulnerable children – not just categories – move toward horizontal programming Family-centred approach - strengthening families and communities Long term planning – 5 to 10 year vision Coordination, Efficient and Effective use of limited resources

1999: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 2006: African Youth Charter; UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children 2008: UNICEF’s Global Child Protection Strategy 2009: Countries in sub-Saharan Africa launched processes to map and understand the systems in place and decide on key priorities for action 2010: Chapin Hall Paper – Described key elements that every system – including a child protection system - should have 2012: Dakar Conference – to reinforce, support and sustain national efforts to improve the impact of child protection systems on children 2012: Delhi Conference – A better way to protect all children 2013: Joint Statement meetings and preparation Talking point – Mapping – has occurred all over the world……….focus on SSA – chosen for the conference Half the countries have now undertaken some form of mapping or assessment of their system.

To present our common understanding of child protection systems in sub-Saharan Africa and why they are important and worthy of investment To 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 ACTORS Government Civil society and private organizations Communities Children Families

9 Appropriate policies, legislation and regulations
ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM Appropriate policies, legislation and regulations Well-defined structures and functions and adequate capacities Supportive social norms Effective promotion, prevention and response actions High quality evidence and data for decision-making Efficient 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

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.

Mapping the system – nearly half the countries have completed or launched exercises to map and assess their system Developing national policies and coordination mechanisms Including protection in national budgets and medium term expenditure frameworks Integrated Service Models at the decentralized level – that rely heavily on community-based child protection mechanisms Social Service Workforce Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation – VAC prevalence studies Presenter to provide more concrete examples from their experience May 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 MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO CHILDREN? Fatou’s father left her mother when she was six. …………..

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 city Her Uncle’s friend came round a lot to visit. He soon started buying Fatou gifts and began to abuse her repeatedly She kept silent as she felt scared and did not know who to tell Many months later, her Aunt discovered what was happening and immediately took Fatou to the hospital She received some treatment for the bleeding, but the Aunt told her not to say anything as this would bring shame on the family Although 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 separation If 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 team If 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 Helpline And 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

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; and 3. 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 society 4. 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.


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