Policy Priority Area 7: Child Protection in Conflict and Emergencies
Objective: To provide an internal mechanism for detecting and responding to conflict and emergencies
7.1. Strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict, including children displaced due to armed conflict in collaboration with the African Union Commission.
7.2. Improve the regional disaster preparedness plans and disaster risk reduction to include children and child protection response.
7.3 Establish a Regional Child Emergency Fund
- The EAC develops a fundraising mechanism for children in conflict and emergencies
- Establish a fundraising mechanism [to support national capacity for child protection emergency response
7.4. Enhance meaningful child participation initiatives in peace building at national and regional level
- Establish and implement Children’s Dialogue Framework on Peace building from grassroots levels to the regional level building on existing child participation national mechanisms.
- Mainstream Peace education in the curricula at national level
7.5. Establish and implement mechanisms to address the protection of Children from all forms of abuse, violence, neglect, exploitation and extremism.
- Enhance existing national plans of action to address children in emergencies and CAAC to protect them from abuse, violence, neglect exploitation and extremism
- Develop community-based and national systems for identifying, enumerating, and documenting children outside of family care, including among refugee communities through approaches that can be used rapidly in emergencies.
Progress in the implementation of Priority Area Seven:
The EAC Secretariat participated in the 2019 in the Pan African Conference on Children and Armed Conflict that was held from 15-17 October 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The EAC committed to promote the protection of children in armed conflict and to prevent violations by implementing the following actions:
- Establish mediation mechanisms with a mandate to engage and dialogue with all political actors, communities, local leaders, and the armed groups. For example, establish a panel of eminent persons from neighboring countries who are accepted, respected and regarded as impartial.
- Strengthen the existing early warning mechanisms such as the AU/EAC Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism to identify violence hot spots and potential conflict situations
- Institute measures to ensure safety for children in existing public spaces as well as ensuring availability of new safe public spaces for children.
- Conduct trainings and capacity building of defence forces, standby forces and peace keeping missions on humanitarian principles, human rights and child protection.
- Increase documentation and collection of evidence on violations of child rights.
- Promote and enable birth registration without time limitations at the country level through concrete safe measures (children ask) - birth registration in emergencies
- Include child protection indicators in the M&E framework for silencing the guns targets.
The EAC also committed to fastrack specific actions for the Republic of South Sudan and Burundi as follows:
A: Focused and Accelerated Program for South Sudan (based on the 2018 Baseline Study on Child Rights in South Sudan)
- To strengthen the Child Protection System in South Sudan (as guided by the EAC Framework for Strengthening Child Protection Systems) especially building the capacity of the social service workforce.
- Undertake a sustained advocacy and awareness programme for Government to provide Humanitarian Access and Security (to facilitate service provision but also reporting violations committed against children and the perpetrators - for proper accountability).
- Support the government of the Republic of South Sudan on Child Rights Governance especially the ratification and submission of the initial report of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; and implementation of the EAC Child Rights monitoring and reporting framework.
B: Support for the Republic of Burundi
- In Monitoring and Reporting on the UNCRC, ACRWC, and the EAC Child Policy.
- Conduct a needs assessment of the demobilized and reintegrated youth and children including capacity building in order to support the government of Burundi in designing a responsive Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) programmes.