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«Action for the Rights of Children (ARC) Critical Issues Abuse and Exploitation CONTENTS BRIEFING NOTES FOR FACILITATORS Page Introduction Topic 1: ...»

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The facilitator should gather any locally relevant information on the Topics to be addressed in the training and identify individuals with specific expertise who could act as resource persons. All participants can be asked to bring along relevant material to display / share with others. The facilitator could, if possible, devise locally appropriate case-studies.

The facilitator should study the notes for each Exercise carefully to ensure that all the necessary materials are prepared in advance.

–  –  –

Defining Abuse and Exploitation __________________________________________________

10 mins Using Briefing Notes for Topic 1, provide an Briefing Notes introduction to the concepts abuse and exploitation. for Topic1 35 mins Introduce and facilitate Exercise 1.1 to illustrate the Exercise 1.1 importance of establishing working definitions for abuse, and exploitation, that are appropriate to the specific context.

Factors Determining Risk of Abuse and Exploitation __________________________________________________

30 mins Following a brief introduction related to Topic 2 Exercise 2.3.

Briefing Notes, use Exercise 2.3 to explore with participants, working in groups, the increased risk factors (including decreased protective factors) for refugee and displaced children.

Child Labour __________________________________________________

10 mins Using Briefing Notes for Topic 3 provide an introduction to the issue of child labour.

15 mins Ask participants to describe types of child work in their region and determine what is acceptable and what is exploitative work, especially in regard to the child's ability to access education.

Sexual Exploitation __________________________________________________

10 mins Using Briefing Notes for Topic 4 provide an introduction to the issue of sexual exploitation.

–  –  –

15 mins Ask participants what the various forms of sexual exploitation in their region and who are the likely perpetrators.

The Legal Standards for Protection __________________________________________________

20 mins Using the Briefing Notes for Topic 5, introduce Briefing Notes the framework of international and national legal for Topic 5.

instruments that can be used to protect children Handout 5.1.

and adolescents from abuse and exploitation.

N.B. As a pre-workshop exercise participants could be requested to collect information on national laws that protect children from exploitation.

20 mins Introduce and facilitate Exercise 5.2, Case Study - Exercise 5.2 Brigitta, which explores the provisions of the CRC.

Prevention and Intervention __________________________________________________

45 mins Provide a brief introduction using Briefing Notes Exercise 7.2 from Topics 6, 7, and 8, highlighting the importance of the implementation of legal standards and the mobilisation of the community. Facilitate Exercise

7.2 asking participants to consider the prevention and intervention strategies appropriate to their particular context.

Summary __________________________________________________

–  –  –


This programme has been written in the form of a training plan to demonstrate how materials from more than one Resource Pack can be combined to create a workshop that is customised to the needs of a particular group of participants. It is intended as an example only.

OVERALL AIM To raise the awareness of participants to the issues of abuse and exploitation, and demonstrate how an understanding of child development can contribute to ensuring appropriate prevention and intervention strategies, taking account of the principle of the child’s best interest.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

• establish working definitions of child abuse and exploitation, appropriate to the specific context;

• identify possible risk factors for children within refugee/IDP/returnee communities;

• understand some of the principle threats to the development of children and adolescents in situations of forced migration and conflict;

• understand the concept of resilience and describe ways in which child development can be best promoted for children at different ages and stages of development

• explain why the Convention on the Rights of the Child offers the highest standard of protection and assistance for children;

• devise appropriate programme responses which either help to prevent exploitation or to promote appropriate responses to it;

• understand that the Best Interest Principle must be applied in all situations where decisions are taken about the future of children and adolescents

–  –  –

1.0 Key Concepts

1.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 1

1.2 Influences on What Is Considered Abuse or Exploitation

1.3 Determining Whether Work is Exploitative for Children

2.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 2

2.2 Risks Faced by Refugee and Displaced Children

3.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 3

4.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 4

5.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 5

6.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 6

7.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 7

8.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 8

9.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 9

–  –  –

Key Concepts

1. Abuse and Exploitation need to be understood in relation to personal values, cultural and community standards and international standards

2. Refugee and displaced children may be at an increased risk of abuse and exploitation

3. Children undertake a wide range of different kinds of work, some beneficial and socially acceptable, and some exploitative

4. Sexual abuse and exploitation have a devastating effect on the physical and mental health of children, families and communities

5. There are various legal instruments that can be used to protect children

6. Preventive strategies can be developed to protect children from exploitation

7. Various support systems can be developed to protect and assist working children.

8. Skilled and sensitive intervention is required when cases are reported or suspected.

9. Community mobilisation may be appropriate in developing preventive approaches and responding to allegations

10. Child abuse within the family presents especially serious protection issues

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 1.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 1

• The term “child abuse” includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect.

• In determining whether refugee children’s work is exploitative within the framework of the appropriate laws and guidelines, it is necessary to consider the social, political, economic, and cultural context of the given host and refugee communities, including the influence of a camp, urban, or rural setting. Children’s views should be regarded as a fundamental part of this determination.

• The term “exploitation” can cover a multitude of situations or practices. It will be important that participants are aware of this and agree on a working definition that is appropriate to the specific context.

• There may be other forms of exploitation and abuse that are specific to particular contexts.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 1.3 Determining Whether Work Is Exploitative for Children In determining whether children’s work in a particular context should be considered as exploitative, it is important to examine the totality of the children’s situation. It will be

important to consider such factors as:

• the age of the child;

• the hours spent working each day;

• the level of physical or psychosocial stress work creates;

• the conditions of work;

• the amount of pay;

• the level of responsibility;

• whether the child attends school;

• the level of dignity/self-esteem children maintain;

• whether work contributes to or harms the child’s psychosocial and physical development.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 2.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 2

• Armed conflict may increase the level of risk and vulnerability of children to becoming victims of abuse and exploitation. When determining a child’s level of risk and vulnerability it is important to consider the political, social and economic reality of the situation where the child is living. Poverty is often a root cause of many forms of exploitation.

• Refugee and displaced children and adolescents may be at increased risk of exploitative child labour for a variety of reasons; these may include separation from their families, lack of access to education, and the need to take on adult responsibilities such as caring for siblings.

• Poverty and social inequalities are significant in determining which children work, the kinds of work they do, and their working conditions.

Decisions to work are greatly influenced by whether children have access to relevant education and vocational training.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 2.2 Risks Faced by Refugee and Displaced Children

1. Prior to flight

2. During flight

3. In the country of asylum

4. Within the refugee environment

5. During repatriation operations

6. During the reintegration phases

7. Vulnerability and risk are cumulative.

8. Lack of reporting

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 3.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 3

• Children work for a range of different reasons in differing cultural, social and economic circumstances.

• Different types of work can be examined by considering different types of job activity, the work environment, the presence of particular hazards, the perceived benefits of work, and the nature of the employment relationship.

• Gender issues need to be considered.

• The relationship between children’s work and education is a complex one. Care needs to be taken in determining whether children’s work should be regarded as a problem that needs to be addressed.

Children’s own views will be essential in determining whether child labour constitutes a protection or assistance problem.

–  –  –

Key Learning Points for Topic 4

• Children may be particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation given their level of dependency and their limited power and ability to protect themselves.

Additional ethnic, gender, cultural, economic and societal factors greatly increase their risk of becoming victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.

• Sexual abuse and exploitation can take a variety of forms including rape, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. To best address and prevent the occurrence of such abuse it is important to understand how each act is defined.

• The perpetrators of sexual violence and exploitation are diverse. The term perpetrator represents those who indirectly coerce, trick, encourage, organise and maintain the exploitation, as well as those adults who participate in the exploitation directly.

• Sexual exploitation has devastating effects on the physical and mental health of children, including their ability to learn and communicate. There may also be a profound impact on the family and community.

• Where the perpetrator of sexual abuse is a member of the child’s family there are particular protection issues.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 5.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 5

• Legal provisions exist to protect refugee children and adolescents from employment that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education, or be harmful to their development.

• The Convention on the Rights of the Child accords the child the right to be protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

• The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two Optional Protocols, offer provisions to protect children against sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as against trafficking, sale and abduction.

• Sexual violence is a gross violation of fundamental human rights as well as, when committed in the context of armed conflict, a grave breach of humanitarian law.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 6.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 6

• The prevention of exploitation is obviously preferable to measures to deal with the consequences of it, for children and families.

• For some children, risk factors can be cumulative, so it is essential to respond to their needs promptly.

• A child-centred situation analysis will be an essential pre-condition for the development of a preventive strategy.

• There are many possible strands to a preventive strategy, including: livelihood issues, education and training, awareness raising, measures to protect women and children, visible procedures for reporting and monitoring instances of exploitation, and an effective police and judiciary system.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 7.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 7

• Refugee children and adolescents should be protected from harmful and exploitative forms of work.

• To reduce the possibility of interventions having unforeseen negative consequences, working refugee children and their families should participate in policy and planning on child work issues.

• Services to support working refugee children may need to be developed and sustained, as well as advocacy work.

–  –  –

Abuse and Exploitation – Overhead 8.1 Key Learning Points for Topic 8

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