Empowering girls and front-line actors against sexual and gender-based violence

Duration of the project : 2020- 2025 (5 years)

A partnership between the Senegalese government, UNICEF, the International Bureau for Children's Rights and the children of Senegal to strengthen procedures and training for the security forces, the judiciary, social work and the prison sector.

In order to accompany the efforts undertaken by the Senegalese State in the field of child protection over the last decade, the IBCR is implementing a project to reduce violence against children in Senegal, particularly of a sexual or sexist nature. While taking into account the country's context, the initiative also seeks to focus on gender equality and the empowerment of girls in decisions that affect them.



Through the implementation of the project for the empowerment of girls and frontline actors against sexual and gender-based violence, the IBCR and its partners aim to achieve the following results :

  • Access by child victims, witnesses, suspects or convicted perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence to security, justice, social and deprivation of liberty services that are more respectful of the principles of their protection and active participation, with the aim of reducing the harm caused by such violence to their lives.
  • Equipping police and gendarmerie forces and personnel in the justice, social work and prison sectors with appropriate tools and increased skills to prevent sexual and gender-based violence against girls and to protect children in a gender-sensitive manner.
  • Increased quality of interaction between children and professionals in the targeted sectors through the establishment of local coordination, guidance and care mechanisms.
  • Greater empowerment of children in preventing and responding to the sexual and gender-based violence they face, by improving their knowledge and skills to promote and defend their rights.

These changes will thus contribute to the creation of an environment where all children can claim and exercise their most fundamental rights, ensuring - especially for girls - the enjoyment of their rights without being exposed to sexual and gender-based violence.


The project will run for a period of four years and is based on two pillars :

1- The professionalisation of certain sectors of child protection : the security forces (police and gendarmerie), the judiciary, the social sector and the prison sector

2- Strengthening the role and consideration of children’s voices in the prevention and the action against the situations of vulnerability they face.

This support is in line with the country's current government policies and strategies to effectively combat all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against children. This IBCR project aims to strengthen the child protection system as a whole, through coordination between sectors, the development of skills in the implementation of children's rights - through the integration of harmonized procedures and protocols in professional practices, training, certification and coaching of trainers - and the empowerment of children, especially girls, in the promotion of their rights.



Since 2009, the IBCR has been supporting Senegal and other countries in the sub-region for the improvement of initial and specialised training courses for police and gendarmerie forces, with regard to children's rights. The evolution of the Senegalese context has generated a growing need for coordination and strengthening of child protection actors, giving rise to new exchanges with the IBCR. These exchanges have led to the development of a project dedicated to the adaptation of child protection practices to international standards (as mentioned in the Conventions and Protocols ratified by the Senegalese State), with a particular emphasis on the meaningful participation of girls and the strengthening of their capacity to act against sexual and gender-based violence.



In accordance with the IBCR's participatory and interdisciplinary approach, this project mobilizes Senegalese institutions, as well as local and international organizations working to strengthen the capacities of the targeted actors and/or in the field of child protection. Such an approach favours the achievement of the objectives, by identifying the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders and by avoiding overlapping or omission of interventions in terms of training on child rights and protection.

  • Institutional stakeholders : professionals from the four target sectors, as well as members of the project's financial partners.
  • Non-governmental stakeholders : civil society organisations accompanying children and young people and international child protection NGOs present in Senegal.



Throughout the project, coaching and technical support will be offered to child participation associations and networks, in order to encourage the empowerment of girls and boys by equipping them to participate more meaningfully in the decision-making processes that affect them. Children will thus be involved in all stages of the project (scoping, workshops, advisory committees, etc.) to strengthen their leadership role, support the implementation of the project and contribute to its governance.



1- Assessment of the situation

2- Development of procedures

3- Design of training packages

4- Creation of a pool of certified trainers

5- Follow-up of the first courses taught by the schools

6- Development of an advocacy strategy to sustain change


This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of :


  • Intervention locations : Dakar - Saint Louis - TBD
  • Project duration: 4 years
  • Partners :
    • UNICEF
    • Ministry of the Family, Women, Gender and Child Protection of Senegal (lead ministry for the project)
    • Ministry of Health and Social Action of Senegal
    • Ministry of the Interior of Senegal
    • Ministry of Justice of Senegal
    • Ministry of the Armed Forces of Senegal
  • Highlights:
    • Direct beneficiaries: 5270 girls and boys, women and men from Senegal directly involved, including 1379 women and girls working in the project's key institutions and local communities.
    • Indirect beneficiaries: 550,000 girls, boys, women and men.
  • Fields of activity and expertise :
    • Capacity building
    • Applied research
    • Advocacy and institutional support
    • Tools, reference manuals and standards
    • Training leadership
    • Child sexual exploitation
    • Violence against children
    • Child protection systems
    • Children and the justice system

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