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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 whole programme comes together in a pattern of regular "Network" meetings involving representatives of the Contact persons, Junior Counsellors/Child Monitors, Child Protection Workers, other Don Bosco staff and colleagues from the Catholic college and education secretariat, to debate common issues and concerns and to decide on appropriate courses of action.

GROUP TASK In small groups, you are invited to consider this case study and then discuss whether it is possible to apply or adapt some of the key elements of the approach to a situation known to you.

–  –  –

TARGET GROUP

Sector Co-ordinators, Field Staff.

OBJECTIVE

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

• develop a protection plan for a child who is being abused by a member of his/her family.

TIMEFRAME 60 minutes METHOD Participants to work in small groups. Provide each group with the Participants’ Notes for this exercise, or if possible develop locally relevant examples instead.

Ask the participants to choose one or two of the case examples; to examine it from the point of view of the case worker involved (the teacher, health worker); and to consider what action needs to be taken to ensure that a protection plan is made and implemented for that child.

Plenary The following notes may be useful in conducting the plenary session.

• A key issue is how the worker involved, and other key people, can satisfy themselves that the child is being adequately protected and if not what steps should be taken.

• A protection plan requires careful investigation, especially if the parent denies abuse or neglect. What sources of information can be used? What happens if there are no independent witnesses, the child alleges abuse and the parent denies it? Should the child be put through an intrusive investigation if the authorities will only act if there is independent proof? Should medical evidence be sought - especially if allegations of sexual abuse are being made? If so, how can this be done in a sensitive and non-intrusive manner?

• The role of relatives or close friends and neighbours in providing alternative care, in monitoring or supporting the child.

________________________________________

Abuse and Exploitation - Revision Version 04/01 Page 129 Action for the Rights of Children (ARC)

• What characteristics of the community are likely to facilitate the protection of the child? The more concerned adults there are within the family’s social network, the more likely it is that the child will be protected. On the other hand, the presence of mistrust and suspicion within the community will make this more difficult.

• The role of community leaders in helping to analyse the situation and determining an appropriate protection plan.

• The role of other professionals such as teachers, pre-school workers, health workers and NGO staff in helping to assess the situation, monitor the child and ensure protection.

• The potential role of women’s groups or other community organisations in investigating the situation, supporting the child and/or parents.

• The importance of considering whether the law should be invoked? Does the alleged incident suggest that an offence has been committed, and if so what criteria would be used in deciding whether to refer to the appropriate authorities. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? What assurances are there that the police or other authorised bodies will deal with the situation appropriately and sensitively? Should legal advice be obtained, and if so, from whom?

• What is the role of the UNHCR Protection Officer in each situation?

• Is this thought to be an isolated incident or could it reflect a broader issue within the community, and if so what steps need to be taken to respond to it?

RESOURCES Participants’ Notes for this exercise.

Flip chart paper and marker pens.

–  –  –

OBJECTIVE

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

• develop a protection plan for a child who is being abused by a member of his/her family.

TIMEFRAME 60 minutes METHOD Work in small groups. Read the following case examples. Choose one or two of these examples and consider it from the point of view of the worker on this case (i.e. the health worker; the teacher). What action does s/he need to take to ensure that a protection plan is made and implemented for the child in question. Note your answers on flip chart.

There will be a plenary session.

–  –  –

CASE EXAMPLES:

JUAN Juan is an eight-year old boy, the fourth in a family of six children. He is in the first grade at school, having started late because his mother did not initially enrol him in the camp school because he has a harelip and she didn’t consider that he was worth educating. It was only through the encouragement of a health worker (who has arranged for him to have the necessary surgery) that she agreed for him to attend school. It is known that Juan’s father is absent and assumed to be fighting in a guerrilla army: his mother is under considerable stress in caring for six children while also struggling to supplement the meagre refugee rations by seeking casual work. She is very isolated socially, and although there is a women’s centre in the camp she does not attend.





One morning Juan comes into school with a large bruise around his eye. His teacher decides to send him to the local clinic where they find severe but fading bruises on his back and arms, as well as the facial bruising and a very blood-shot eye. The health worker suspects that he may have previously had a broken arm that has not been properly treated but is now mending. Although Juan refuses to say how the injuries were caused, a friend tells the teacher that she often hears Juan’s mother screaming at him in the home.

MARIA

Maria is a physically mature twelve-year-old girl. In school she is described as withdrawn and uncommunicative. It is known that the family had some harrowing experiences prior to fleeing from their original village and the teacher assumed that that was the cause of her emotional state.

Although a regular attendee at school, Maria suddenly stops coming, and no explanation is offered by her or her parents. Concerned about her well being, her (female) teacher makes inquiries of the other children, but they look away and say they don’t know anything about her. The teacher decides not to pursue the issue, but a few days later she finds Maria hanging around school at the end of the school day and approaches her to find out why she has not been attending.

Maria bursts into tears and is taken into a private room in the school. Gradually it emerges that her stepfather has been having sexual intercourse with her for several years and she now fears she might be pregnant. She fears that her mother might not be sympathetic towards her and hence has said nothing to her. She is terrified at the possibility of being taken away from her family.

There have been a few previous allegations of child sexual abuse within the camp, and there is a women’s group which is concerned with the women victims of rape and domestic violence.

ANITA Anita is a little girl aged 22 months. A community health worker has been monitoring her health and development, and for the third time is so concerned

–  –  –

about her poor weight gain and slow development that she refers her and her mother to a supplementary feeding centre.

She is the youngest of a family of five children, three boys and two girls. It is known that two previous children, both girls, died in infancy. The mother has no partner, has a recurring chest infection and finds it extremely difficult to cope with the demands of her family. She always appears to be very smartly dressed. The two oldest boys do not attend school and despite their age (9 and 11) she expects them to look for work in order to earn money to supplement the family’s economic resources, though it is extremely difficult to find any paid work apart from occasional casual labouring for extremely low wages.

All of the other children in the family appear to be adequately nourished and to enjoy good health. The nutritionist at the feeding centre suspects that Anita is suffering from “selective neglect”, despite the mother’s assertion that she is doing her best.

MARCO

Marco is a six-year old boy. The health worker has seen this boy quite frequently, usually for coughs and colds, and he always appears to be a sickly child. He always seems quiet and withdrawn and tends to flinch if there are sudden movements by anyone near him. It is also apparent that his mother is extremely impatient with him, always criticising him for minor mis-deeds, often shouts and him: she blames him for being ill and for causing her so much trouble. The health worker has also noted that she never shows him any affection and often compares him unfavourably with her other children. He is said to cry frequently, has no friends and is largely shunned by other members in the family.

–  –  –

TARGET GROUP

Sector Co-ordinators, Field Staff.

OBJECTIVE

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

• describe what elements of a situation analysis would enable staff in a given situation to identify cases of child abuse.

TIMEFRAME 60 minutes METHOD Prepare a presentation on the issues of child abuse and neglect, using Briefing Notes from Topic 1 and Topic 9.

Participants to work in small groups. Ask them to use a setting known to them: a refugee camp or a transit centre. Their task is to develop a situation analysis that will provide information about the incidence of child abuse or neglect within this setting.

They should develop this analysis using a three-point framework:

• the characteristics of the parents or carers;

• the characteristics of the child/children;

• the characteristics of the local environment.

Firstly, they should write down on a flip chart what is already known to them under these three headings.

Then they should identify what else they need to know, what sources of information they would use, and how they would obtain this information.

Plenary: each group should present their analysis to the whole group.

Facilitators may wish to refer to the ARC Resource Pack on Situation Analysis for more information about this methodology..

–  –  –

TARGET GROUP

Sector Co-ordinators, Field Staff.

OBJECTIVE

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

• apply their understanding of issues around child abuse to developing an awareness campaign.

TIMEFRAME 60 minutes METHOD Prepare and present an introduction to this topic, using material from the Briefing Notes for Topic 1 and Topic 9.

Divide participants into small groups. Ask them to discuss one of the issues presented under this topic (example: different types of abuse – emotional, sexual, physical – or neglect – physical or emotional): how prevalent is it in the situation that the participants are working in? How do they know? How is it dealt with? By whom? What do they think about the way this issue is handled?

Ask them to consider what elements they would include in a campaign to raise awareness about this issue. They should write down their ideas on a flip chart.

Plenary: each group to share their campaign strategies with the whole group.

LEGAL PROTECTION: ABUSE AND NEGLECT

Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 Article 2.1 States parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.

Article 19.1 States parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

Article 24.3 States parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.

Article 28.2 States parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.

Article 37 (a)

States parties shall ensure that:

(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment… Article 39 States parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, selfrespect and dignity of the child.

–  –  –

LEGAL PROTECTION: CHILD LABOUR

Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 Article 32

1. States parties recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.



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