Child protection is defined as measures and structures to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence affecting children. Due to the nature of refugee camps, confinement as a result of encampment policy, broken family structures and a limited number of social safety nets due to separation of families and trauma experienced during flight, children in Kakuma and Kalobeyei face a number of protection risks in all setting including abuse, neglect, various forms of SGBV, child labour, family separation, psychological distress following forced displacement etc.
Cases of children with protection concerns identified by Waldorf within the CFS are referred to UNHCR and other relevant partners through a well-designed Inter- Agency referral tool (kobo tool) for case management and other necessary protection and medical interventions.
Child participation is one of the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which asserts that children have the right to freely express their views and that there is an obligation to listen to children’s views and to facilitate their participation in all matters affecting them within their families, schools, local communities, public services, institutions, government policies and judicial procedures. At Waldorf we consider child’s meaningful, safe, and appropriate participation a key strategic priority for ensuring sustained child well-being and creating democratic societies with informed and engaged citizens. Waldorf believes that children can play a significant role as agents of transformation with the capability to engage in decision-making processes they develop a sense of belonging, justice, responsibility and solidarity. The numerous activities at the CFS are designed, discussed, implemented and monitored by children.
COVID 19 is putting more children at risk of violence
Isolated in unsafe homes, sent to work or pushed into early marriage, millions of boys and girls could be facing physical, emotional and sexual abuse as result of the pandemic. The effects on these children will last a lifetime. To mitigate the increasing reported cases of teenage pregnancies, drug and substance abuse amongst boys and girls. Waldorf continues to involve children in open discussion forums within the CFS on age related activities i.e. behavior change, life skills, designing with children audio clips with COVID 19 preventive measures, demystifying myths and misconceptions on the corona virus as well as self-identification and reporting. All these activities are carried out in strict observance of the COVID 19 protocols. However, there is need to increase the supply of surgical masks, sanitizers, hand wash soap and hand washing stations in the CFS.
To slow down the impacts of COVID 19 among children, Waldorf calls on governments, institutions, donors and well-wishers to urgently increase funding for education and other social services that protect children from all forms of violence and abuse, especially for girls and boys at greater risk.