Gender, Youth

African nations to develop child protection strategy for east, south Africa

WINDHOEK, JAN 22 — Child protection officials from 27 countries and regions will meet in Namibia for the first time to discuss the current and local child protection trends and develop a child protection strategy for the Eastern and Southern African (ESAF) regional office.

This event will take place on Feb. 11 in Windhoek with participants from the SOS International Office in Austria, together with ESAF regional office staff present, said National Child Safeguarding Manager, Christine Esperanza Aochamus, Tuesday in an interview with Xinhua.

Aochamus said incidences or violations of child safeguarding are still not being dealt with appropriately in these regions, as many perpetrators are still roaming the streets, despite criminal charges being lodged against them.

The aim of the meeting will be to raise awareness around these issues, hoping to devise an advocacy strategy to be implemented after the workshop, she added.

One of the strategies for the network is to ensure a responsive Child Protection Network through partnership with stakeholders as well as to identify ways to better engage the media, law enforcement and partners in their respective countries, Aochamus said.

“As a country we are also cognizant of the many challenges we are facing regarding child protection. We have seen a rise in baby abandonment incidences over the past few years as well as an increase in child neglect cases resulting in street children,” she said.

According to Aochamus the meeting will be concluded with a development of an Action plan for each of the countries which are reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Currently in Namibia, the protection and safety of each child is embedded in the Namibian Constitution. – XINHUA