The Enact Protection program aligns with ChildFund Australia’s priority goals of strengthening national child protection systems; strengthening community practices to protect children; preventing violence and exploitation; and implementing targeted projects for high-risk groups of children. Child protection is a relatively new concept in Laos and establishing focal points, as well as mainstreaming child protection as part of overall policy processes, requires intensive capacity building of government staff, particularly in provincial offices.
ChildFund Laos is exploring different options to more effectively understand how child protection goals can be achieved without overt reliance upon government systems. Further complicating the child protection context, there is little evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of child protection mechanisms, and accordingly we will continue to analyse and refine our approach to community-level child protection activities.
At the national level, we will work with other child-focused organisations to explore possible mechanisms to progress child protection. ChildFund Laos will engage closely with ChildFund Australia’s Child Protection Advisor as well as outside specialists to support relevant initiatives. From 2015-2020, the organisation will review our plans particularly through the Child Protection Working Group and pilot a child protection project. We will also explore how we can engage with local partners to enable communities to advocate for appropriate mechanisms to influence the response to child protection, and share these experiences with relevant stakeholders.
Child protection in risk management and emergencies will be a cross-cutting initiative under this program component.
The Enact Protection program includes the following key areas:
- Capacity building: increase awareness for duty bearers on the CRC and internal child protection reporting mechanisms within our project areas.
- Mainstreaming child protection across our programs: Strengthening the capacities of our staff and partners in child protection mechanisms linking to risk reduction and emergencies.
- Network expansion: Identify and develop networks by linking relevant community groups including Lao Women’s Union, Lao Youth Union and other NPAs.
- Advocacy: Pilot a project at national level through the child protection working group, explore the influence of the review and implementation of the CRC at different levels.
- Case management: Through referral system, support the local government as well as work with other partners to respond to cases by monitoring and documenting the process as well as build the capacities of local government in case management.