SCOEN seeks to ensure that all children are protected from all forms of exploitation, neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse through effective national and community based child protection systems.
Child protection is a key component of SCOEN programmes. It cuts across all our project implementation and advocacy and we have continued to make great strides toward strengthening child protection systems.
We focus mainly on the following:
- Developing functional community-based child protection systems,
- Enabling community-based rehabilitation (CBR) of children with disabilities,
- Working on civil society engagement in human rights budget monitoring,
- Ensuring safer schools programme for children
- Coordinating national-level advocacy for child protection interventions by the government.
Our priorities in Child Protection: –
Communities working together to protect children
One of SCOEN’s key strengths is its close and long-term collaboration with communities and bringing communities together to drive long-term change. This has helped us gain important insights into how to strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms and how to link them effectively to government mechanisms. This work is now one of our global priorities for the coming years.
We recognise that communities, families and children themselves are an integral part of any effective child protection system. As such, we focus on bringing the participants together to collaborate in building a long-term protective environment for children in the communities where we work.
Families providing care and protection
Families and caregivers are a key safety net for children. By supporting and prioritising them, we can help ensure they are in a stronger position to create and maintain a positive family environment, and play a critical role in the holistic development of children.
Governments developing integrated child protection systems and services
We support robust research to provide evidence for appropriate government action on child protection. This involves working in collaboration with national and district authorities to establish, improve and enforce appropriate child protection legislation and policies.
Children and youth contributing to their own protection
We are committed to supporting children to be more knowledgeable, committed and confident to recognise, prevent and seek help for all forms of violence against them, and to make them more aware of the protection services and support mechanisms that are available to them.
Key to our approach is supporting children to unite against peer-on-peer violence including bullying and gender-based violence, to mobilise around child protection issues and to work in partnership with civil society and service providers to end violence. We also support them in protecting themselves in emergency situations, creating opportunities for them to speak out and influence others about their right to protection, and building their confidence to achieve this.
Over the last 8 months, the number of functional community-based child protection committees (CPCs) has increased significantly within SCOEN’s target communities. Child protection committees now cover over 180 communities with over 260 CPC members.
We support national prevention and response to violence against children (VAC) campaigns in Uganda and in line with this, we are implementing a three-year project called Violence Against Children (VAC). The goal of this project is to reduce violence against children aged 0-8 years in post-conflict Northern Uganda using Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) as a key strategy.