Child Protection (CP): Refugees & Asylum Seekers.
"Child protection is the prevention of and response to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children". Children of concern, including refugee children and asylum seekers, in Somaliland face these risks on a daily-basis.
DAN is partner of UNHCR since September 2019 to implement a Community Based Protection & Child Protection project. This project aims to strengthen child protection services and the capacity of targeted communities of persons of concern (POC) to address their own challenges and protection challenges through community-based protection (CBP) approach, with community mobilization, psychosocial counselling, vulnerability assessments, community self-reliance and protection, and provision of services to refugees, asylum seekers, persons with specific needs and affected host communities in Somaliland.
The Child Protection component is in alignment with UNHCR Somalia Child Protection Strategy 2020-2022, the project seeks to fulfill the following strategic objectives:
1) Promote and support inclusion of children of concern into national child protection systems.
2) Strengthen child protection case management, and
3) Strengthen protective environment for children where they live, learn and play.
DAN carries out the child protection project through a community peaceful co-existence center (PCC), where POC benefit from case-management and kindergarten classes. DAN also reaches out POC children at their homes through 4 hotspots around Hargeisa where POC live in big numbers. A pilot safe-space center for children was set up in Daami IDP hotspot where children have recreational activities and child protection issues are addressed.
The child protection actions are rights-based and community-based. The principles enshrined in the child rights convention (CRC, 1989) as well as the 1951 refugee convention and other human rights and humanitarian laws guide the actions of this project component.
The child protection component of the project includes case-management for children of concern who are separated from their caregivers, orphaned-children, street children, children with disabilities and other vulnerable groups of children of concern that are in need of the case management. For individual children, the best interests principle is given a primary consideration in all actions and decisions taken by DAN and UNHCR teams. This includes assessing and responding to the protection needs of a child at risk, alternative care arrangements for an unaccompanied or separated child, or identifying a durable solution.
The project implements community-based activities that increase the ability of families and Communities to support the children in their care and eliminate negative community/societal practices.
The intervention will also focus on community-based alternative care arrangements; Conduct assessments to identify protection risks in homes, schools and the community which consider children at particular risk; Provide capacity building to children to make them aware of their rights and empower them to participate in their own protection:
• Establish mechanisms, including those at community level, which prevent and respond to children’s protection risks, including referral pathways to child-sensitive health, psychosocial and care services also taking into account special needs of children with disabilities.
Interventions to be focused on communities and families that are central to care and protection of children.
• Increase awareness of the harm associated with some traditional practices (i.e. FGM) and
advocate, through community-based programs, for standards that protect children.
• Focus child protection interventions on institutions, such as schools, rehabilitation centers, foster care institutions, etc. for the purposes of child protection environment strengthening.