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1 Assessment of the child protection system in Iraq/Kurdistan.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Assessment of the child protection system in Iraq/Kurdistan."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Assessment of the child protection system in Iraq/Kurdistan

2 2 Background Diakonia in Iraq/Kurdistan since 1994 Operating 3 centers for social protection/child protection Improve capacities and respect for child protection

3 3 Assessment in two phases 1) A child protection systems assessment covering legislation, procedures and needs for capacity building 2) How to improve the quality of work performed by the three centers

4 4 Iraq/Kurdistan Federal entity since 2005 Population almost 4 million 36% 0-14 years, 4% above 63 More than 50% are under 20 years

5 5 Child protection systems assessment in Iraq/Kurdistan Legal framework Coordination mechanisms Available services Human and financial resources Children’s and parents’ access to service

6 6 Constraints and limitations Not possible to visit services providers Not enough interviews with civil society Not possible to meet with extremely vulnerable children Sample group of children and parents came from Dohuk Lack of reliable statistics

7 7 International legal framework The CRC (1994) The ILO Conventions 138 and 182 (1985 and 2001) Not party to the two Optional Protocols of the CRC Not party to the Conventions on the Status of Refugees or Statelessness

8 8 National legal framework The Iraqi Constitution (2005) endorses the CRC State and family the main duty bearers Economic exploitation prohibited All forms of violence and abuse in the family, school and society prohibited All forms of psychological and physical torture prohibited

9 9 A Kurdistan Child Rights Law in process With UNICEF support Currently children’s rights and responsibilities are defined in the Juvenile Law, the Social Law and the Labour Law.

10 10 Interviews Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs (and general directorate in Dohuk) Interiors Justice Education Health (and general directorate in Dohuk) Five NGOs (partners of Diakonia) Parents and children (in Dohuk)

11 11 UNICEF Study on VAC Develop internal policies for law encorcement Support Child Helplines Mine risk education, psychosocial support

12 12 Questionnaire for ministries The definition of child protection The legal framework The services provided in terms of prevention, detection, reporting and response The coordination The human resources

13 13 MoLSA Example of matrix What are the services provided? Who provides them? ActionDetailsProvided by whom Contact details of provider Prevention Detection Reporting Early intervention Family support Response Reintegration Alternative care

14 14 Coordination MoEMoHMoIMoJ Prevention Detection Reporting Response Legal framework, policies, protocols Method of coordination

15 15 MoLSA Juvenile law: ”Prevent the phenomena of juvenile offense by protecting the juvenile from delinquency” The social law: nothing but 2 small references to children with disabilities The child labour law

16 16 Directorate of Social Care and Development: Special care (”orphanages”) Centers for children at risk of delinquency (street children) No detection of children in need of social support No reporting mechanism Plan to establish Help-lines (with support from UNICEF) Directorate of Labour No programme to address child labour Directorate of Reformatory: In charge of institutions for children in conflict with the law in close collaboration with Ministry of Interior

17 17 Ministry of Interiors Protects the population from crime and terrorism Juvenile Police stations detect children in conflict with the law or children at risk of delinquency Child protection is a family matter Need for capacity building on how to talk to and interrogate minors

18 18 Ministry of Justice Juvenile courts – minimum age 11 If sentenced Juvenile reformatory If delinquent Rehabilitation centers Parents risk to loose custody

19 19 Ministry of Education Law prohibiting physical and phsycological punishment Law on free and compulsory education No mechanism for detection, response or referral

20 20 Ministry of Health No protocol for detection, reporting and assistance – doctors are prohibited Children not allowed to go to the hospital without parent Need for capacity building on how to talk to children, help them overcome traumas

21 21 Focus group discussions Fathers (10) Mothers (36) Boys (19) Girls (8) Children aged between 4 and17

22 22 Discussions focused on: Definition of child protection national and international law access to and opinion about available reporting mechanism access to and opinion about responsive services

23 23 Example of matrix Reporting mechanisms Y ES NONO Comments Police station Social workers in the MoLSA Doctors in the hospital Teachers in schools Counselors in schools Local or international NGOs Mukhtars Imams Other members of the community Do you use these reporting mechanisms? Which specific cases of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation you think should be reported?

24 24 Fathers Concerned about protection in school Law against domestic violence is humiliating and increase divorce rate Better to address root causes by teaching children about non-violence

25 25 Mothers Aware of law, but limited knowledge VAC is culturally accepted and mothers are the main perpetrators If a child is punished in school he/she deserves it Protection issues in the home cannot be reported

26 26 Children Not aware of a law on child protection but some had heard of the CRC All aware of the juvenile law All had been subject to physical punishment in school - report to parents Most violence takes place between children

27 27 Summary Violence against children is a family affair The system in place is a child correction system Children are perceived as perpetrators not victims of rights violations Protection is ”education, health, food”

28 28 Summary cont… Reporting and referral mechanism do not exist – only for the detection and response of children in conflict with the law Lack of specialised staff on child protection within MoLSA General lack of capacity to understand child protection and knowledge about the law

29 29 Summary cont… Lack of disaggregated data Lack of awareness among parents and children on children’s rights, the negative impact of violence, alternative discipline, how to prevent exposure to risks Insufficient coordination

30 30 Reflections Did we ask the right questions? What were the traditional protection mechanisms? The current law reinforces the current belief The ocean of preventive measures

31 31 To be continued….. Thank you for your attention!

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