Japan and UNICEF team up to strengthen protection of children and women

21 September, 2016

UNICEF Myanmar
UNICEF Myanmar/2015

21 September, 2016 – The Government of Japan has contributed with approximately US$ 2.2 million to UNICEF to assist children and women’s protection throughout Myanmar.

Through this contribution, UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Myanmar, will work to both prevent and respond to cases of gender based violence, as well as contribute to the on-going development and capacity building of key government departments and civil society groups, namely through the provision of quality social work.

“The prevention of violence against children and based on gender is a significant challenge rapidly growing in Myanmar”, affirms Tateshi Higuchi, Ambassador of Japan in Myanmar. “The training and capacity building for social workers will tackle this challenge. I also believe these will benefit the whole society long after the completion of the program.”

Activities through this partnership will also enhance the capacity of law enforcement and justice systems to provide child friendly and gender sensitive approaches when working with children in contact with the law. In addition, the contribution from Japan will help to reach the most vulnerable adolescent girls and boys in conflict affected areas to increase their life-skills and their capacity to address the risks they face on a daily basis.

“Important efforts are underway by the Government and civil society to respond to violence against children and women. However there are important gaps that require urgent technical and financial assistance”, affirms Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF Representative to Myanmar. “This contribution will help address those gaps, transforming the lives of thousands of children, and empowering girls so that they can better protect themselves from increased risks, including in conflict-affected areas.”

Around 4000 adolescents from displaced communities in Rakhine and Kachin States will benefit from life-skills programmes. Cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare will help to build the capacity of 200 of their social workers to address violence against boys and girls. The one-year project aims to cover one million children by building sustainable government social work services. In addition, a new module on violence and protection of children will be introduced in the Myanmar Police Force and Supreme Court training curriculums, benefiting 10,000 justice professionals. Public awareness will also be conducted to help prevent child sexual abuse and violence.