Child Protection


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© UNICEF Zambia/2008/ Inzy
UNICEF advocates protection for all children.

Protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation.

The child protection programme is supporting achievement of key results:

  • Develop and strengthen multi-sectoral mechanisms at national and sub-national levels for prevention, care and protection of children, including in emergency situations.
  • Government and its civil society partners have the capacity to provide children affected by AIDS with appropriate social welfare and child protection services in selected districts.
  • Government system has capacity to prevent and respond to children in contact with the law at all stages of the justice system.
  • Birth registration increased from 10 to 50 per cent amongst under five age group and from 10 to 30 per cent amongst 6-18 years.
  • National policies and legislative frameworks are harmonized with the CEDAW, CRC and the optional protocols by 2015.

It will do so through three core strategic focuses:

  1. Strengthening the child protection system with particular focus on supporting a child rights focussed policy and regulatory framework, enhancing family support services targeting the most vulnerable families including children living with HIV, strengthening accessibility to and quality of protective services for child victims of abuse violence and exploitation, and promoting and supporting family based alternative care.  
  2. Development of a child sensitive justice system to ensure that children in contact with the law, including child victims and witnesses, and children in the juvenile justice system receive appropriate legal redress that promotes their recovery and reintegration.  This will be achieved through support to legal reform, promotion of child sensitive procedures including child friendly courts, access to legal aid, and case management and monitoring.  Children in conflict with the law will be supported by strengthening access to diversion and restorative justice. 
  3. Promotion of universal birth registration including budget and policy reform to support decentralization of birth registration procedures, community sensitization and mobilization, and improving access to birth registration through simplification of services that reach to community level.

© UNICEF Zambia/2008/Inzy
UNICEF's social protection policies focus on the most vulnerable in society: women and children.

The Child Protection Programme works at both national and sub-national levels.  At national level the programme seeks to influence and inform legislative, policy and budget reform in accordance with CRC standards and other international standards related to child protection rights.

Evidence for influencing national reform and good practices at sub-national level will be keys to programme success, and ensuring national data sets on child protection are generated and inform policy and legislative changes.  Through piloting, strengthening evaluation functions of partners and of the child protection programme itself, evidence will inform decision making and advocacy strategies.

The Child Protection programme will promote strengthening of partnerships including but not limited to government (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Judiciary), non-government organizations, civil society actors, mass media, academic institutions, parliamentarians, UN agencies, private sector and the donor community.

UNICEF’s convening power will be used to develop and strengthen alliances for child protection both at national level and where appropriate sub-national level, to ensure broad partnership and action for protection.    

Children’s participation will be fostered through strengthening forums for children and ensuring children’s voices are heard throughout the programme cycle.



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