UNICEF defines child protection as ‘strengthening of country environments, capacities and responses to prevent and protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect and the effects of conflict” The Inclusie Government in Zimbabwe has opened opportunities for to scale up more comprehensive approach to children’s protection at national, district and community levels.
In line with UNICEF’s new global and regional strategies on child protection, UNICEF Zimbabwe is adopting a “systems building” approach to emergency as well as longer-term development interventions with the view that building sustainable child protection systems is at the heart of nation-building in this new country. A childhood free from violence for all the children of Zimbabwe contributes to a future population committed to peace, human rights, development and security.
Today UNICEF, together with the Ministry of Labor and Social Services and the National AIDS Council, (NAC) steers Zimbabwe's largest OVC support programme. The programme is a multi donor, multi year programme involving more than 150 national, international and community partners.
UNICEF is also working closely with the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs to create and bolster a functioning justice for children system in Zimbabwe. Support to the Victim Friendly Initiative has resulted in the creation and functioning of 17 Child Friendly Courts to provide child-sensitive investigative and legal services to child survivors of violence, exploitation and abuse. This means that more children exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse are able to seek redress for crimes committed against them and that those who are themselves involved in criminal acts are able to receive protective care and support in line with international standards.
UNICEF supports the provision of interim care and reunification support at the Beitbridge Centre and Plumtree for unaccompanied children deported from South Africa and Botswana. More than 2,000 children receive interim care and the majority was reunified with family.