Child protection systems build on children’s rights
A range of factors lead to violations of children’s right to be protected. Among them are lack of access to quality education, rural–urban migration, displacement due to armed conflict or natural disaster, trafficking, harmful traditional practices, gender-based violence and discrimination due to gender, ability, political, ethnic or religious background.
A systems-building approach to child protection looks especially at preventive measures, from a broad social welfare perspective. The impact of poverty and social exclusion on the ability of families and communities to care for their children is taken into account.
An effective national child protection system recognises that the state has the ultimate responsibilities and human rights obligations to children.
Save the Children believes that by building and strengthening child protection systems that are based on children’s rights, measures to protect all children will be holistic, inclusive, sustainable and well-coordinated.
In essence, rights-based systems will lead to better protection for children.
What does a national child protection system entail?
A national child protection system consists of:
- laws and policies that protect children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence and respond in the best interests of the child when violations occur,
- a central government coordination mechanism for child protection, which brings together central government departments, different provinces, central and local levels of government and civil society,
- effective regulation and monitoring at all levels, for example in childcare institutions and schools,
- a committed workforce with relevant competencies and mandates,
- mechanisms which bring perpetrators to justice.
In addition, a functioning child protection system should be informed by children’s views and experiences and strengthens families in the care and protection of their children. It connects child and family support mechanisms in the community with child-friendly services at all levels. These are regulated by quality standards and delivered by the government or accredited social agencies.
Social services to prevent family disruption are promoted and child-focused family coping strategies are supported.
Save the Children recognizes that most countries in the world have a long way to go before reaching this level and we therefore work to find strategic entry points for advocacy and capacity building in each country.
To learn more, please read “Building rights-based national child protection systems: a concept paper to support Save the Children’s work”.
Save the Children in Myanmar has produced "Community Vanguards: Civil Society as Child Rights Defenders", a 20 minute documentary presenting the work of "Child Protection Groups" across Myanmar. These groups address some of the critical issues the most vulnerable children in Myanmar have to face, including recruitment by armed forces; parental neglect; child labour and trafficking.
A short documentary on Save the Children's Child Protection Programme in Zanzibar
Save the Children´s Child Sensitive Social Protection Programme (CSSP) in South Asia is gaining increased recognition globally as a key strategy to reduce child poverty and inequality. This film shows examples of how CSSP can be implemented in practice.