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Abdikadir_Eyes on child safeguarding issues in Somalia.pdf

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Abdikadir_Eyes on child safeguarding issues in Somalia.pdf

  1. 1. Eyes on child safeguarding issues in Somalia: What works and what doesn't  Keeping Children Safe Summit 2020  Date: 8 October 2020 Speaker: Abdikadir Issa Farah Organization: Formal Education Network for Private Schools (FENPS) Contact: info@fenps.net;aifarah@fenps.net Mogadishu, Somalia 1
  2. 2. OVERVIEW OF MY TALK My presentation will share participants of the Summit with desk review and primary data report that I learned from my child safeguarding study in Somalia. The case is not long research, but present current situation on Somali children’s protection status and how educational institutions and NGOs incorporate matters related to child protection and safeguarding into their service delivery in Somalia. The case will also provide an overview about existing chances and gaps in terms of protection and child safeguarding and how education actors are working to address safeguarding issues within their activities. The Case will present recommendations to the audience, and main objective of the case is to encourage participants of the Summit to conduct if possible further research on this matter in order to find a way that help Somali children enjoy opportunities and services that are essential for protection and safeguarding of their Human Rights. 2
  3. 3. SOMALI CHILDREN IN CONTEXT  EDUCATION:  Somalia is one of the countries that have least enrollment rates in the world  About 32% of Somali children mostly boys have access to quality primary education opportunities-Somali Government records  The Somalia humanitarian Needs Overview 2020 highlights that an estimated 3.7 million people need protection-related assistance, 1.37 million children (including 691,295 girls) need assistance to either stay or enroll in school  “Due to the spread of COVID-19 all the schools across Somalia were closed in mid- March by the government as a protective measure. That school closure disrupted the learning of over 1.1 million children and have had negative impact on children’s right to education as well as their human rights including the right to food and nutrition” (SOMALIA PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PLAN (CPRP) AUGUST 2020).  GRAVE VIOLATIONS  As of June 2019 SGs annual report on Children and Armed Conflict indicates “a total of 2,228 boys and 72 girls, some as young as 8, were recruited and used by parties to conflict in Somalia”.  In 2018 Education Cluster reported 2,127 verified cases of child recruitment by non-state armed groups. 3
  4. 4. OPPORTUNITIES  Somalis are sunny Muslims and Islamic religion has given highest consideration to the basic rights of the persons whether children or adults  October 2015 Somalia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  November 2017 Federal Government of Somalia launched its Child Rights Bill drafting process as a foundation for the promotion and protection of all child rights in the country.  Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and (2)Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) are also clearly pronounced in humanitarian assistance and Donor supported programs provided to Somali people as an accountability measure to implementing partners and contractors  Education Cannot Wait (ECW), new Global Fund for education in emergencies strongly defined child safeguarding standards to apply its programs in Somalia-that is a must on implementing partners to ECW projects 4
  5. 5. AVAILABLE COORDINATION MECHANISMS AND PROCEDURES FOR SAFE GUARDING OF CHILDREN  The education Cluster is the ideal coordination body for child safeguarding and child protection in the education sector  The education Cluster coordinates education actors including local and international non- governmental organizations, UN agencies, donors and government ministries.  Education Cluster Partners are doing their best to provide children with protection services within education institutions 5
  6. 6. GAPS  The concept “Safeguarding/Child Safeguarding” is new to Somali local institutions  Most of schools and universities are not aware of the subject of safeguarding (i.e. 98% of 12 universities and 50 schools (33 primary and 17 secondary schools) that reviewed their management system have not had clear policy/safeguarding measures to protect children whom they were teaching in Somalia.  The systems, programs, policies, plans and operations of Ministry of Educations have the greatest impact on children, yet this institution has no special/separate unit within it that is entrusted with the safeguarding and protection of children in education settings whatever across the country, whose lack is a major drawback in limiting or controlling violence against children (apart from their mention of merely the need of observance of the safety and well-being of students and school personnel in basic standards policies of the draft private school policy without elaborating on what they mean by these.)  Small number of schools has Teachers Code of Conduct and it is almost missing or not precisely implemented at schools in Somalia 6
  7. 7. ABOUT FENPS Formal Education Network for Private Schools (FENPS) is a member of Education Cluster. It is not for profit and non-governmental Organization that has been active in Somalia since 2003. Somalia is located in Africa especially Horn of Africa. FENPS was established to play a role in addressing the particular needs of especially vulnerable groups in society who often lack education, health care, protection and livelihood opportunities. VISION: FENPS has a vision of a society where all children have access to quality education and are not subjected to any abuse. MISSION: The mission of FENPS is to uplift children and allow them to grow in confidence and realize their fullest potential through guidance, education and training in secure and caring environments that are conducive to learning. The aim of FENPS is to provide youth and children with positive values and skills for their personal and national development. For that reason FENPS joined Keeping Children Safe (KCS) in June 2019 to improve its child safeguarding policy and practices. 7
  8. 8. ACHIEVEMENTS:  KCS supported FENPS in developing child safeguarding manual, and now FENPS has its child safeguarding policy, Standards and procedures improved  FENPS made presentations on child safeguarding in two Education Cluster meetings (i.e.in July 2019 and in August 2019).  FENPS spread the word of child safeguarding and Keeping Children Safe initiatives and at least 3 other local NGOs applied to KCS to improve their child safeguarding policy and procedures, following FENPS lead.  FENPS and Save the Children facilitated 2 days training workshop on child safeguarding and child protection for 20 administration level persons from 20 local NGOs in October 2019 in Mogadishu. 8
  9. 9. WHAT IS FENPS DOING NOW? FENPS is working towards promoting child safeguarding and protection in education in Somalia that are in line with national and international legal framework and policies in the following three ways: I. Research: to study the nature and extent of the violations of child rights and freedom by analyzing potential hazards and evaluating existing conditions of vulnerability that could pose a risk to children and the environment in which they learn or live. II. Capacity building: to strengthen knowledge, abilities, skills and behavior of FENPS staff and associates through induction and training together with a clear code of conducts for acceptable and unacceptable performance to prevent or reduce the negative impact of organization’s employees on children. III. Advocacy: to recommend other organizations establishing and implementing child safeguarding measures on their own to freed children from all forms of abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence. 9
  10. 10. RECOMMENDATION Three important things should be done to improve child safeguarding in Somalia  Advocacy and outreach-Advocate for child safeguarding and mobilize more organizations/institutions to implement child safeguarding standards through existing forums/mechanisms (e.g. Education and protection Clusters)  Capacity building- Build the capacity of organizations that work with or for children and help them develop and implement their own internal child safeguarding policy and practices  Accountability- Precise pronunciation of accountability for implementation standards and safeguarding measures into contract agreements among Donors, States, and Implementing entities 10
  11. 11. Thank You for Your Listening! 11

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