In Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, UNICEF provides technical and financial support for the development and implementation of programmes and policies which would lead to improved protection of children. Some of the activities that UNICEF has supported in this sub-region include:
Research that creates awareness of issues affecting children in the sub-region:
During the last programme cycle, the Office provided technical and financial assistance for research which assessed the vulnerability of children in three countries: Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It also supported research on the issue of violence against children and research was conducted on the situation on women and children in the Eastern Caribbean.
The drafting of legislation and protocols that will lead to the better care and protection of children:
With the support of UNICEF and other developmental partners, the OECS succeeded in drafting (4) Model Legislation on Child Protection. These are the Juvenile Justice Bill; The Child Care and Protection Bill, The Status of Children Bill and the Domestic Violence Bill. In addition, UNICEF also supported the drafting of Child Abuse Reporting and Management Protocols in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in Grenada. Assistance was also given to the conducting of research on the assessing the protective environment for children in Barbados and in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Training and public education and sensitization workshops on various aspects of children’s rights for key professionals who work indirectly or directly with children:
UNICEF also supports training and sensitization workshops aimed at educating key stakeholders and children on the rights of the child. In addition, to the general sensitization on child rights, training has also been supported which dealt with topics such as positive class room management (for members of the teaching profession) and on child abuse for religious leaders, media, among others. Such training has contributed to better understanding of children’s rights and the role of children and adults in the fulfillment of Children’s rights.
Child rights reporting to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC):
UNICEF has also advocated for regular reporting on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and has provided technical assistance to countries that are in the process of submitting reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
In the period 2008-2011, UNICEF will continue to provide support in the above areas; however the main focus will be on supporting activities that will lead to addressing child sexual abuse, corporal punishment and justice for children.