Child Protection

Child and social protection




Child and social protection

UNICEF Zimbabwe/2011
© UNICEF Zimbabwe/2011


Key issues

The national social protection system has become seriously eroded leaving children extremely vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse, and with little access to justice and social welfare. Data suggests that 21 per cent of first sexual encounters for girls are forced. Moreover, 48 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men think that family violence is acceptable (Zimbabwe DHS 2005-2006).

Orphans are particularly vulnerable. Zimbabwe has one million children who have lost at least one parent.

Key goal

Create a policy, legal and budget framework to ensure the protection of children against violence, exploitation and abuse and to ensure that all children can access social services.


The programme aims to:

  • Increase the availability of birth registration services;
  • Support the scaling up of the Victim Friendly Initiative, implementing a pre-trial diversion programme for children in conflict with the law;
  • Advocate the rights and views of children and young people in the constitution;
  • Support the prevention and monitoring of gender-based violence;
  • Support the revival of the Government’s cash transfer scheme for the poorest households through the revised National Action Plan for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, and develop ways to improve access to basic social services.

The cross-cutting programmes of communication for advocacy and development, gender and human rights, social policy, monitoring and evaluation and disaster reduction will support all the programme areas.

Women, young people and children will be supported to participate and advocacy will be based on evidence.


  • UNICEF has partnered with the government to create and update critical child protection policies and standards. Guidelines for pre-trial diversion for children in conflict with the law are being developed which will form the basis for work on the Juvenile Justice Act; 
  • UNICEF supports the Judicial Service Commission to coordinate, monitor and provide oversight to the delivery of standardized, survivor-friendly services for children and women who are seeking access to the justice system;
  • UNICEF is partnering with the Danish Embassy and the Danish Institute for Human Rights to support computerization of the victim friendly courts and ensure children’s cases are documented and tracked for efficiency and holistic service delivery. Seventeen courts are now equipped with standardized supplies and equipment for private interviews and judicial hearings for survivors;
  • The Zimbabwe Republic Police continued the implementation of the Child Friendly Police Stations initiative and to date, 50 Victim Friendly Unit Police Officers representing 100% of police stations and police posts in Mashonaland Central have been trained on child protection; 
  • In 2012, 19,827 households, from a planned 25,000, in the first 10 poorest districts received two bi-monthly cash disbursements through the Harmonized Social Cash Transfer programme, benefitting more than 90,000 people across the country.





Fact sheet: Child Protection Fund

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