The Child Protection mandate of each peacekeeping mission flows from the Security Council resolutions on Children in Armed Conflict and is determined by the most urgent child protection issues in the mission area as well as the overall mandate of the given mission.
All children have a right to be protected from harm and have their welfare promoted – whoever they are, and wherever they are. Anyone who works for an organization that comes into contact with children has a responsibility to keep them safe and promote their welfare. Roche Forte Afrique International was invited to the peacekeeping school in Bamako for a workshop and training session on DROITS ET PROTECTION DE L’ENFANT (Children Rights and Protection). It was an intensive training and discussion forum; all delegates were trained about Children Rights and Protection, from United Nations Peace Corps Personnel’s and other instructors. The training gave us a better understanding of child rights and child protection in emergencies, including an overview of the international legal framework applied to children affected by armed conflicts. We focused on the consequences of conflicts on children and their communities, and how The United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and other international children organizations have ensured that children who are at risk or victims’ of family separation, sexual violence, involvement in armed forces or armed groups, and other forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation are protected during and after conflict. Here are some Highlights on what was discussed and pictures.
Who is a child?
“Every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”
The concept of childhood is neither timeless nor universal; it is not determined only by age, or by biological and psychological factors. Rather childhood is understood by reference to particular cultural and social contexts and to particular periods in history.
A helpful notion when considering childhood is that of children’s developing or evolving capacities. Adults have a responsibility to facilitate their inclusion, so that children can exercise their full potential. Children’s capacities are often not recognized because they lack physical power and status to exercise their rights, not because they lack understanding or capacity.
As children develop, they pass through different stages in society. Societies treat their children differently in terms of granting them opportunity to participate in social, cultural, political and economic processes.
The Development and Basic needs of Children
Since their birth children go through the development of all their abilities and development of their body. Like seeds in need of water, light and oxygen to grow and become strong trees, children are in need of healthy nutrition to develop their body and care, protection, knowledge to become strong adults.
Material needs: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, security, money
Social needs: family, friends, school, religion, culture, community, activities
Psychological needs: love, care, values, spiritual belief, sense of belonging, recognition, independence.
What is Child Protection?
Save the Children defines Child Protection as measures and structures to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence affecting children.
The goal of child protection is to promote, protect and fulfill children’s right to protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in other human rights, humanitarian and refugee treaties and conventions, as well as national laws. Child protection is a specialist sector in its own right but out of necessity works very closely with other sectors. It requires a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach (linking closely, for example, with work in education, health and criminal justice).
Child protection should not be confused with the protection of all children’s rights, which is the responsibility of everyone working with children.
Rings of Responsibility
More Pictures below from the event;