Child Protection Programme
UNICEF’s Child Protection programme aims to ensure that every child is protected from violence, exploitation and abuse. This means protecting their physical, mental and psychological needs to safeguard their futures
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Lebanon’s compounding crises have plunged families into poverty, driven basic services to the brink of collapse and put children at increased risk.
The convergence of an economic meltdown, the impact of COVID-19, the aftermath of the 2020 Beirut Port explosions and political instability have left vulnerable children and families with few resources and virtually no access to social support.
Children are at increased risk of abuse, exploitation and violence, as access to the basics they need to survive deteriorate, the social systems that protect them collapse and struggling families resort to negative coping systems. For children, abuse and neglect have enduring physical, intellectual, psychological and economic repercussions that they will carry into adolescence and adulthood.
The crisis has also caused tensions and anxiety within households, taking a heavy toll on children’s mental health and sometimes resulting in domestic violence and resorting to harmful gender and social norms and practices.
Children are at increased risk of abuse, exploitation and violence
At the same time, more and more children are coming in contact with the criminal justice system, notably because of participation in protests, domestic violence, begging, substance abuse or crime.
Every child has the right to be protected from violence, exploitation and abuse. Protecting children means protecting their physical, mental and psychosocial needs to safeguard their futures. This requires a comprehensive response that cuts across all sectors of society and ensures that child and family welfare systems, legal protections and social protections for the most vulnerable families are in place and functioning.
UNICEF’s key priorities is to promote a long-term transformational change to safeguard children’s and women rights in Lebanon, through the advancement of a children’s rights governance system, a greater focus on preventing violence and harmful practices at affecting women and children and by enhancing the capacities of the social service workforce to strengthen protective environments for children and women and address the multidimensional nature of child protection issues.
A cohesive national response is needed, with the UN country team, civil society organizations, donors, the private sector, financial institutions and faith-based leaders helping drive change and model best practices.
UNICEF’s key priorities is to promote a long-term transformational change to safeguard children’s and women rights in Lebanon
The Government needs to prioritize protection, ensuring that school environments are safe for children, that health practitioners have the skills and resources to handle protection cases and that families are supported in creating a caring environment at home. Children themselves need to be empowered to help them realize their rights.
Our key achievements
- In 2022, UNICEF reached 249796 children with child protection services.
- 23,302 individuals supported through Focused Psychosocial support for children and caregivers, supporting individuals at medium to high risk with strengthening positive coping mechanisms, emotional resilience, as well as coping with COVID-specific stressors such as stigma, guilt, fear, and grief
- 8,362 caregivers supported through Positive Parenting & Caregiver Support Interventions Promoting positive parenting knowledge and skills among caregivers allowing them to play a leading role in shaping and directing the experiences and opportunities for children’s learning, growth, mental and physical health, psychosocial wellbeing, and development.
- 5,472 children supported with lifesaving Case Management services
- Around 22,660women and adolescent girls accessed the women and girl’s safe spaces that enabled then to learned new skills and were aware of where to seek GBV services.
- 190,000 beneficiaries reached through 838 Qudwa initiatives and 12,500 caregivers through the caregiver’s toolbox
- UNICEF has helped ensure the Lebanese Government takes on responsibility for child protection, including keeping children safe at school and supporting women and girls who have survived violence, including gender-based violence.
- UNICEF has played an important role in promoting reforms to the alternative care system to stop children being unnecessarily separated from their families and to ensure the justice system protects children’s rights and safety.
- The establishment of child-friendly hearing rooms in six Palaces of Justice in Lebanon to provide children in contact with the law with a safe and confidential environment during their involvement in legal proceedings.