Community-Driven Child Protection

The structures that serve to protect children often break down in times of humanitarian crisis - exposing children to significant risks to their safety. Child protection mechanisms driven and shaped by local communities are proven to be effective in contexts of crisis - which is why War Child is working to develop a Community-Driven Child Protection Intervention.
Boy Nelson with his parents from DR Congo fled to Uganda for safety - War Child

Children in the midst or armed conflict are exposed to risks to their safety including family separation, sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups

Photo: War Child

Child protection through local communities

Some 149 million children worldwide grow up in the midst of armed conflict. The protective mechanisms that serve to protect these children often break down - leaving children exposed to risks to their safety including family separation, sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups.

Innovative solutions to meet these child protection challenges are urgently required. Child protection responses driven and shaped by local communities can be an effective means to meet these challenges - as community-driven actions are typically sustainable, low cost and able to reach large numbers of children.

Yet - despite their proven effectiveness - these ‘bottom up’ community owned approaches can take time to develop. This is particularly true in areas where community ties are weakened. Yet in these contexts child protection needs are urgent - which is why War Child is working to develop a standardised yet adaptable child protection intervention that places communities at its very centre.

TeamUp op School voor gevluchte kinderen in Nederland

War Child is working to develop a standardised yet adaptable child protection intervention that places communities at its very centre

Photo: War Child

War Child geeft onderwijs aan kinderen zoals Mozes in Oeganda

We believes bringing communities together to address child protection issues can serve to repair protective mechanisms damaged by armed conflict.

Photo: War Child

How the intervention works

The Community-Driven Child Protection intervention aims to improve the protection of children by bringing about genuine community-driven processes within volatile and urgent humanitarian contexts. The intervention sees communities identify risks to the protection of children before developing and implementing action plans that target the potential sources of those risks.

War Child believes bringing communities together to address child protection issues can serve to repair protective mechanisms damaged by armed conflict. A draft intervention manual has already been developed in pursuit of this goal and tested in field conditions in Sri Lanka.

A feasibility study to assess the relevance and sustainability of this approach will follow. Moves to allow for the replication of the intervention by other humanitarian actors are also in development.

More on this intervention

The Community-Driven Child Protection intervention will eventually be trialled and evaluated in field conditions - and is one of the integrated interventions that make up our holistic Care System. For more information on the progress and development of this intervention download our dedicated factsheet now.