Policy Priority Area 4: Cross border Child Rights violations
Objective: To prevent and respond to all cross-border child rights violations in all Partner States
4.1. Put in place and strengthen a collaborative framework and administrative mechanisms that prevent and respond to cross border child rights violations
- Conduct a baseline survey on child related border crimes
- Conduct needs-assessment on existing border infrastructure, including preventive and response mechanisms and personnel capacities.
- Develop training tools on mitigating cross border violations.
- Conduct joint capacity building trainings of border management officers, local authorities, civil society on collective efforts in identifying and mitigating cross border violations and in child-sensitive reception and asylum systems.
- Develop a collaborative framework, including information sharing among border authorities.
- Establish child protection and guardianship systems for children deprived of parental care and child victims of trafficking and other cross border violations
4.2. Strengthen collaboration between development partners, UN agencies, Partners States and the EAC Secretariat to address cross border Child Rights violations
- Establish an electronic system to track and record cross border movements of children with valid travel documents
- Establish an Integrated Cross-Border child-rights violations Management Information system.
4.3 Strengthen the investigative capacities of cross border immigration and law enforcement agencies to be more responsive and vigilant to child rights violations.
- Develop and disseminate circulate handbooks, manuals and other tools
- Train law enforcement officials on investigation and mitigation of cross border violations of child rights.
- Create public awareness on cross border child rights violations
4.4 Put in place a Juvenile justice system at the regional level
- Harmonise the definition of ‘a juvenile’ and the age of criminal responsibility among Partner States
- Institute separate correction and remand facilities, Juvenile courts, ensure due process and legal representation, protect the dignity of the juvenile and abolish corporal punishments.
- Establish child protection units at police stations, as well as child-friendly courts.
Progress in the implementation of Priority Area Four:
There are various cross border issues in the EAC and some beyond the jurisdiction of the East Africa Partner States to neighbouring countries that may not be in the EAC. As such, Priority is outward oriented in approach, responsibility but also in the issues. It is against this background that the EAC aims to collaborate with the other RECs and the African Union to address common issues such as migration, refugee management, conflicts and disasters and other violations especially Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriage and trafficking.
Various workshops have been organized by African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) in the Regional Economic Communities including the East African Community (EAC). The objective is establishing a harmonised approach to curb and address child rights violations.
The proposal for an ACERWC and Inter-REC collaboration plan was presented and adopted at the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in November, 2019, in Cairo, Egypt.