What we achieve
Raising awareness of children’s rights and of the legislation that protects these rights, in tandem with developing national policies, is building a more protective legal framework for Madagascar’s children. Between 2005 and early 2008 five important laws reinforcing the principles of child rights were passed in Madagascar.
With UNICEF advocacy, and continuous technical and financial support, birth registration in Madagascar has improved significantly, reaching some of the country’s most excluded children, and helping them to claim their rights as Malagasy citizens.
To help reinforce the capacity of local communities to identify and support vulnerable children, child protection networks – involving civil society organisations, churches and NGOs – have been strengthened in almost half of the country's communes. Standardised procedures and improved data collection tools, in addition to reinforced monitoring and reporting mechanisms that allow performance evaluation of CPNs, help to ensure that children are receiving the best support available.
Consolidated partnerships with civil society and community-based organisations are also expanding the reach of child protection work and supporting these organisations in building protective environments for children in their communities.
In Antananarivo alone, the importance of UNICEF’s work in helping to protect the most excluded children can in part be seen through the example of the child friendly spaces initiative: between 2,000 and 2,500 children use these spaces daily.
This provides these children with a safe and secure environment in which to play, and also ensures that they have access to basic social services. Through these child friendly spaces, parents can also find the information they need to help them ensure that their children’s basic rights are met.
Building the capacity of those working within the justice system and among key partners dealing with child protection issues is essential in ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of improvements to the system. In all areas of its child protection work, UNICEF remains committed to strengthening the capacity of it partners.
UNICEF continues to support training in child rights and justice for children for law enforcement officers - including judges, clerks, police officers, gendarmes and lawyers; and supports training for media and civil society partners on how to communicate effectively on child protection. UNICEF also works with social workers to help improve the psychological support available to children victims of abuse and neglect.
Assessing the impact of crisis
What happens to young people during times of socio-political instability? The 'Pandora's Box' study was designed to give youth affected by Madagascar's crisis a chance to express themselves in constructive and non-violent ways using art, music, urban graffiti, photos and letters. It was also an attempt to understand young people better - providing a tool for self-reflection on what went wrong.