The legal framework for child protection in Malawi is articulated through the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act, the National Registration Act, the Wills and Inheritance Act, and the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. In addition, services such as Police Victim Support Units, Community Victim Support Units, One Stop Centres, Community Based Care Centres and Children’s Corners are also in place. Case management is also emerging as an approach that will ensure effective response and referral between the different services.
The overall goal of the Child Protection Component for the 2012 – 2016 UNICEF-Malawi Country Programme is to support the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare to develop a National Child Protection System. A child protection system is a coordinated, harmonised and systematic approach to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect and HIV prevention and impact mitigation.
The outcome that can be directly attributed to UNICEF and our partner’s investment in child protection is an ‘operational National Child Protection System that protects children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect while mitigating the impact of HIV on them’.
One in six children in Malawi are vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, and are at risk of contracting HIV. It is for these reasons that the overall goal of the Child Protection component of the UNICEF Country Programme 2012-2016 is to support national efforts to draw together the extensive response to child protection and orphans and vulnerable children into an operational National Child Protection System. This is a priority in the draft Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (2011-2016) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2012-2016). The newly created division of Child Protection within the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare is the lead agency for child protection. The goal of the National Child Protection System is to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, while mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Strategies and Actions
Resources: Orphans and vulnerable children and child protection