Official Launch of the Child Protection Programme in Alexandria
Alexandria, 17 June 2008: UNICEF and a number of NGOs under the umbrella of the National Foundation for Family and Community Development (NFFCD) officially launched today the Child Protection Programme in Alexandria, under the auspices of the Governor of Alexandria - H.E. General Adel Labib - and with the support of Bibliotheca Alexandria.
The pilot project supported by UNICEF started in 2006 in the three districts of West, East and Montazah in Alexandria. It aims at identifying children in squatter and low income areas who are at risk of abuse, dropping out of school, working at an early age or even becoming street children. The project then asses their situation through social workers and local monitoring committees and provide them with the necessary services and support.
Around 8000 children at risk and their families were served over the past two years through strong networking among governmental and non-governmental concerned agencies.
Building on the success of the Programme, it is planned to expand to cover the fourth district during 2008, with the aim to reach six districts in total within the Alexandria governorate by 2011.
“The results achieved so far have been made possible only by the genuine commitment and strong coordination and partnership between all the different actors who believed in the importance of creating a mechanism that would systematically monitor the situation of children and refer them to the appropriate services” said Dr. Erma Manoncourt, UNICEF Egypt Representative.
The implementation and scaling-up of the Child Protection Programme is now reinforced by recent passing of the amendments to the Child Law. The important amendments set the protective framework for children at risk and overall family support. Articles 97 and 98 in the amended child law stipulates the creation of a committee in each governorate that is responsible for placement of a child protection policy within the governorate and following up on its implementation. Sub-committees will monitor cases of children at risk and provide preventive and protective interventions.
The event held today is intended to shed light on the successful experience of Alexandria in pioneering the implementation of this program and to discuss ways to expand the implementation at the national level.
A seminar was held during the one day event, attended by experts on child protection from both government and civil society, to discuss the role of each agency and the means of sustaining and expanding this programme including engaging new actors such as the private sector.
Iman Morooka, UNICEF Egypt, Communication Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org