Child Protection

 

Save the Children works to strengthen child protection system; protect children from violence, including physical and humiliating punishment and sexual violence; and protect children from harmful work.

What we do best

Save the Children strengthens the capacity of child protection stakeholders at the local level, particularly the Ward Child Protection Committees (WCPCs), teachers as well as parents so that they are able to undertake both prevention and response actions to address abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence that affect or are likely to affect children. The WCPCs are relatively new local structures continuing the work of the earlier Village Child Protection Committees which were proven local structure recognized by government policies as bodies solely working for child protection. Save the Children has not only built the capacity of these structures to fulfil their child protection responsibilities but also enabled them to access local resources to invest in enhancing the protection of children thus making their initiatives sustainable. Save the Children has initiated the concept of Para Social Workers (PSWs), who are trained to manage child protection cases, to generate evidence that social welfare workforce is an integral part of any child protection system in the world, which is conspicuously missing in Nepal’s child protection system. The child protection theme also facilitates the local processes to establish referral mechanisms so that services are linked to the children who need them. Save the Children works closely with governments and local responders to ensure that protection is mainstreamed in all sectoral interventions to address the negative impacts on the mental health and well-being of children and their caregivers in an uncertain situation arising from COVID-19.

Save the Children’s work emphasizes on empowering children so that they are able to identify their protection risks as well as the measures they need to take to protect themselves. By creating reporting mechanisms at the local level, mainly in schools, and by empowering children to utilize those mechanisms, the CP theme facilitates to break the silence and establish child protection as a valid concern for the society to address. By strengthening the capacity of teachers and parents on positive discipline techniques and by sensitizing them against the use of corporal punishment, Save the Children helps create a more protective and fearless family and school environment for the children to flourish their full potential.    

 Adopting a two-pronged approach to address the issue of child labor, Save the Children intervenes, as part of its prevention strategies, in targeted families and children in the area of origin to minimize the flow of child labor. Concurrently, it works in the destination areas where the children are actually working in order to improve their working conditions, their access to education, health and other services so as to ensure that their basic rights are not violated while at work.  

 Save the Children uses its knowledge, experience and evidence generated from its field implementation to push for policy reform on child protection issues. This helps ensure that the field work is supported by appropriate policies and resource allocation and the policies, in turn, are informed and influenced by actual practice in the field.

 Future Direction

With an unprecedented level of power now located in the local governments, Save the Children will continue working with them to strengthen their capacity on child protection and to influence them to set up structures, protocols, human resources and budgets necessary to undertake both prevention and response interventions on child protection within a broader framework of strengthening child protection system in Nepal. The government has, in 2018, legally banned all forms of corporal punishment of children in all settings and has also adopted a National Master Plan on Child Labor. In its strategic plan for 2022-2024, Save the Children has prioritized these two issues in which the primary focus would be on supporting the local government to implement legal and policy provisions to enhance the protection of children from violence and exploitation, including corporal punishment and child labor.  

 For more information:    

Rabindra Gautam

Child Rights Governance and Child Protection Advisor

rabindra.gautam@savethechildren.org

 

 

Updated on February 2022