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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: ...»

-- [ Page 16 ] --

After hearing the story you ask the social worker to find the four children. He manages to find three of them, but the girl who had allegedly been abused ran away when she found out that the social worker was looking for her so that "UNHCR could take her away."

CONSIDER QUESTIONS 1 AND 2:

You speak to the children, who are dirty and poorly clothed, but so are most of the children at the transit centre. You also speak with various people about the case, but the neighbours at the transit centre who had reported the case to the social worker are now reluctant to talk. Two hours have passed, it is getting dark and close to curfew, and the girl has still not returned.

CONSIDER QUESTION 3

PROBLEM: DAY 2 You arrive at the centre early the next morning and meet with the WELCOME manager. She advises that the girl has not yet returned. She also advises that after you left yesterday evening, she decided to "lock up" the man in a small room where non-food items are stored, to ensure that he will not harm the other children. While you are talking the girl returns.

CONSIDER QUESTION 4

–  –  –

that the three younger children can be taken to the children's centre, but refuses to part with the oldest girl. He says that she will refuse to go anyway.

Using the WELCOME social worker as an interpreter you decide to talk to the girl alone. She insists that she wants to stay with the man and refuses to come to the centre.

CONSIDER QUESTIONS 5 TO 8

Questions

1. Should you take any action before going to the transit centre?

2. At the transit centre who should you speak to? What type of information should you try to obtain? Where and how should the interviews be conducted?

3. What action do you take:

• with respect to the girl?

• with respect to the man?

• with respect to the other children?

4. What do you think of the action of the WELCOME manager in locking up the man?

5. What should you do? Are there any international instruments or UNHCR Guidelines that might assist you in making your decision?

6. UNHCR Policy favours fostering, seeing children's centres as a last resort.

However, is fostering possible in a situation like this? How can UNHCR protection staff monitor the situation of children in foster families?

7. What are the various roles of the parties involved in a case like this: UNHCR (Protection and Community Services) NGOs Government? How might they be better co-ordinated?

8. How might this problem have been avoided at an earlier stage?

• In the country of asylum?

• In HOMELAND?

9. Do any UNHCR Guidelines provide assistance?

10 Are these practical in the circumstances?

–  –  –

TARGET GROUP

Sector Co-ordinators, Field staff.

OBJECTIVES

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

• analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the way in which an intervention (known to them) was handled;

• identify learning points from this analysis.

TIMEFRAME 45 minutes METHOD Participants to work in pairs. Each pair is asked to choose a situation, known to one or both of them, where a young person was sexually abused or exploited in a refugee context. The task is to chart how the situation was handled from the first moment that it was either discovered or reported. Who was involved? How did they deal with the situation? How did the young person react? How was the perpetrator dealt with? Make notes on paper or flip chart.

Having done this, ask the participants in the same pairs to develop a SWOC analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Constraints) of how the situation was handled. If facilitators are not familiar with this method, it is fully described in the ARC Facilitator’s Toolkit.

From this analysis, participants are asked to draw up guiding principles about handling such interventions.

Plenary: Pairs to share with each other the guiding principles that they have drawn up (either by presenting them on flip chart or by talking through them).

Facilitator to give copies of Participants’ Notes for this exercise.

RESOURCES Flip chart paper and marker pens. Copy of Participants’ Notes.

–  –  –

OBJECTIVES

By the end of this exercise, you will be able to:

• analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the way in which an intervention (known to them) was handled;

• identify learning points from this analysis.

TIMEFRAME 45 minutes METHOD Working in pairs, choose a situation, known to one or both of you, where a young person was sexually abused or exploited in a refugee context. The task is to chart how the situation was handled from the first moment that it was either discovered or reported. Who was involved? How did they deal with the situation? How did the young person react? How was the perpetrator dealt with? Make notes on paper or flip chart.

Having done this, in the same pairs develop a SWOC analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Constraints) of how the situation was handled.





From this analysis, draw up guiding principles about handling such interventions.

Be ready to share in plenary the guiding principles that you have drawn up (either by presenting them on flip chart or by talking through them).

–  –  –

Key Points to Remember (UNHCR Sexual Violence Against Refugees: Guidelines on Prevention and Response)

• Ensure the physical safety of the victim.

• Prevent any further suffering by the victim.

• Be guided by the best interests of the victim.

• Respect the victim’s wishes in all instances.

Strict confidentiality is essential.

Wherever possible, a victim’s anonymity should be maintained.

Written information on the victim must be kept locked and secure from others.

If confidentiality is breached it could bring grave consequences for the victim, particularly if adequate protection is not in place. It may discourage others from coming forward.

• Be sensitive, discreet, friendly and compassionate when dealing with the victim.

• Ensure same-gender interviewer/interpreter/doctor.

–  –  –

TARGET GROUP

Senior Managers, Sector Co-ordinators, Field Staff.

OBJECTIVE

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

• describe an effective intervention strategy which uses a community mobilisation approach;

• explain how they might adapt or apply elements of this strategy in their own working situations.

TIMEFRAME 45 – 60 minutes METHOD Participants to work in small groups. Give each group a copy of the Participants’ Notes for this exercise.

Ask them to read the case study and to address the task at the end of it.

Plenary session.

The following key points may be useful when conducting the plenary session.

Key Elements of the Approach The following are some of the key elements of the approach that may usefully be

applied to other contexts:

• an overall community mobilisation approach is taken: the football teams and the Child Monitors are used as entry-points into urban communities, and the approach empowers the community not only to acknowledge child protection issues but also to take responsibility for preventing abuses and responding to them when they come to light;

• the whole approach seeks to counteract a culture of corruption, an atmosphere of violence and a pervasive sense of powerlessness and to enable people to see that they can take collective action to respond positively;

–  –  –

• the involvement of young people as social actors in being concerned about, and in taking responsibility for, child protection issues;

• a child-to-child approach in promoting leadership among children and encouraging young people to be concerned about each other's concerns and rights;

• a networking approach which seeks to diffuse knowledge of children's rights and child protection broadly within schools and local communities;

• the programme aims to particularly target disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, while at the same time it adopts an inclusive approach which seeks to integrate them into their local community, foster a sense of belonging, and to counteract tendencies for marginalisation;

• in this African context it is important that the work emphasised both children's rights and their responsibilities.

RESOURCES Participants’ Notes for this exercise.

–  –  –

OBJECTIVES

By the end of this exercise, you will be able to:

• describe an effective intervention strategy which uses a community mobilisation approach;

• explain how you might adapt or apply elements of this strategy in your own working situation.

TIMEFRAME 45 – 60 minutes METHOD In small groups, read the following case study and then address the task set at the end.

There will be a plenary session for you to share the results of your discussions.

THE DON BOSCO CHILD PROTECTION UNIT IN LIBERIA

1. BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT During the period following the long and complex civil war in Liberia, the Don Bosco Child Protection Unit became involved in the demobilisation and rehabilitation of child soldiers and was also working with young people living and/or working on the streets. They became aware of a marked increase in the abuse and exploitation of children, both within the family and within the wider communities, many of which contained numerous displaced people. There was a perception that the comparatively wealthy and powerful could exploit the poor and powerless at will, and within the communities there was a sense of fatalism and that nothing could be done about this. Behaviour that traditionally would have been seen as wholly outside of cultural norms had become almost regarded as a norm.

This reflected the breakdown in social norms during the war period and the widespread violence and brutality which characterised the war.

2. THE DON BOSCO'S APPROACH

–  –  –

issues. The approach had three main components.

2.1 Community Teams They started a programme that sought to use existing community football teams as entry points into the community. The football teams catered for different ages from 8 years upwards. Each one particularly targets disadvantaged young people, including children living on the streets, though any child can be accepted. Each team has a coach - usually a youth or young adult and also at least one "Contact Person", an adult living in the local community who would act as a formal link to Don Bosco's Child Protection Workers. The team members are encouraged to share child protection issues - including actual allegations of abuse - and where possible these would be dealt with by a community mobilisation approach, facilitated by a combination of the contact persons and the Child Protection Workers. There is now a growing programme of kick-ball teams for girls that adopt the same approach.

One example of their work is that of a 9 year old girl who had been raped by someone in the community, and as well as dealing with the particular case, they got members of the community, including significant community leaders, together and talked about the wider issue. The result was that the community deployed an older man to keep an eye on the children after school, which was the period when risk was perceived to be high.

The overall aim is the empowerment of the community to recognise child protection issues, to exercise a sense of ownership for preventing and responding to them. Sometimes the Contact Persons become involved in other community development activities - e.g. mobilising people to respond to issues such as access to drinking water.

The coaches and Contact Persons receive training in workshops, covering issues relating to children's rights, child protection issues and leadership.

2.2 Junior Counsellors and Child Monitors The idea of this approach emerged from a retreat weekend for children attending Catholic schools. In each of 13 Catholic Schools, they try to deploy one Junior Counsellor in each class and they are provided with training on children's rights, peer counselling, youth leadership and "palarvar management", which consists of conflict resolution skills. Some of these children also take on the role of Child Monitor within their local community, again with a particular brief to look out for children's rights and child protection issues. Other children are invited to approach them with any concerns regarding child protection and children's behaviour, and in some cases they will take the initiative in approaching other children if they are concerned about their behaviour or protection.

They became concerned about the behaviour of some teachers and started challenging the system - for example by pointing out the corrupt system of "buying" grades and they challenged a principal who was physically abusing children. These Junior Counsellors and Child Monitors form a network and they hold meetings to discuss their work and issues arising from it. The teachers surprisingly accepted the idea of their role - initially they were afraid of the children becoming "frisky" but most could see the value of their work, especially when they were at pains to emphasise children's responsibilities as well as their rights. As with the football teams, the Junior Counsellors and Child Monitors have access to ________________________________________

Abuse and Exploitation - Revision Version 04/01 Page 127 Action for the Rights of Children (ARC) Don Bosco's Child Protection Workers where it is necessary to involve them with individual cases or broader community concerns.



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