The Child Protection Module training is for Community Management Committee (CMC) members in communities that have implemented the Community Empowerment Program (CEP). The module helps build consensus around human rights and children’s rights while building awareness of the various moral, social, and legal norms that affect children. It emphasizes the importance of education and introduces ideas for how communities can work together to protect their children.
Why: In the countries where we work, there are numerous threats to a child’s healthy development. Lack of access to education, child trafficking, child labor, child/forced marriage, and female genital cutting pose the most dangerous risks. Instead of focusing on immediate relief, the module helps communities address the deep social norms and practices that are at the source of these issues affecting children. In 2010, we developed the Child Protection Module as a compliment to the Tostan program.
How: The Child Protection Module strengthens the capacity of communities to provide protection for children and prevent violations of children’s rights by:
- Reinforcing the capacities of communities and their surrounding villages to identify at-risk children
- Reinforcing the capacities of communities to prevent the trafficking or migration of children to urban centers
- Reinforcing the capacities of communities to help children in difficult situations such as sexual abuse, incest, forced marriage and female genital cutting
- Fostering the creation of dynamic and functional commissions for child protection in all communities.
Who: All communities who participate in the CEP, specifically the CMCs, receive the Child Protection Module training.
Impact & Sustainability: After the training, CMCs establish Commissions for Child Protection (CCPs), which lead the community in advocating for children’s rights and transforming existing social norms that sustain harmful practices. In addition to leading these community-wide projects, they also intervene directly in cases of child abuse.