Projects

Child Protection Capacity Building for Police Officers, Justice Personnel and Social Workers

Circles of the child protection system, photo credit: IBCR


Solutions must be found to help these children, these young people, so that they can live in a society that accepts them, helps them to live a normal life and prepares them to be responsible citizens. That’s how we can ensure a better future.
Ginette Martin, Canadian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo

Project Duration : 2015 - 2020

Over the past few years, the DRC has initiated a number of reforms with respect to the country’s growth strategy and the strategy to reduce poverty, within the security, justice and social work sectors. In partnership with Global Affairs Canada, the IBCR supports the Congolese State in this process by leading the development and implementation of child protection training tools and the implementation of new professional procedures and coordination methods. The five-year project (2015-2020) aims at building the capacities of police forces, as well as justice and social sector personnel, to better deal with children in danger or in contact with the justice system.

Our goals

Through this project, the IBCR aims to strengthen the child protection system in the Democratic Republic of Congo by integrating, in a permanent manner, child protection modules in basic training (targeting new recruits) and in specialised training (targeting personnel specifically mandated to work with children, such as judges for minors and child protection brigades in the police force) for police officers, justice personnel and social workers in order to provide them with essential tools and skills for better child protection. More specifically, the project will:

  • Facilitate children’s access to social, safety and justice services that are more respectful of their rights and their active participation in their own lives
  • Provide police officers, justice personnel and social workers with customised tools and advanced skills to better protect children
  • Improve the quality of interactions between children and stakeholders by implementing standard operating procedures and new procedures tailored to children
  • Develop the capacities of training structures used by police officers, justice personnel and social workers so they can share the necessary knowledge and skills related to the rights and protection of children

Numerous members of these sectors tasked with child protection took part in various development and professionalisation activities with much conviction and commitment. In the project’s third year, data was gathered, training kits and operating procedures were developed, practice exchange trips to Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire took place, awareness and dissemination activities were organised, gender equality and advocacy strategies were developed and many consultations took place. 

Results

  • The tools proposed in the operational guide for squadrons tasked with protecting children have started bearing fruit: the quality of interactions between children and police officers has improved and there is a greater respect of standards, specifically those for listening to children. In Bukavu and Goma, intake rooms and different rest areas for girls and boys have been built. A social worker will soon be part of Lubumbashi’s child protection squadron.
  • Courses on children’s rights given during the basic training for justice and police personnel have officially been integrated into the teaching programme. This year, 300 future professionals in both of these sectors were trained.
  • Engagement from Congolese partners expanded to various provinces throughout the country, including Haut-Katanga where action plans to address gaps in the child protection system were developed by their own initiative.
  • This year, more than 450 women took part in various workshops and other project-related activities. In addition, 52 policewomen were trained on the new children’s rights course

Promoting equality between boys and girls

To ensure that gender equality is taken into account at all phases of the project, and for results obtained to benefit girls and boys, actions were focused on three components:

  • Building the internal capacities of field staff with respect to gender equality
  • Promoting equality between women and men and between girls and boys with local partners
  • Promoting equality through project activities
  • Intervention locations : Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Project duration: 2015 à 2020
  • Partners :
    • UNICEF
    • Follow-Up Committee on Police Reform, Board of Police Training Schools, High Council of the Judiciary, Secretary General of Social Affairs and Solidarity, Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity
  • Highlights:
    • More than 450 women took part in various workshops and other project-related activities.
  • Fields of activity and expertise :
    • Capacity building
    • Advocacy and institutional support
    • Tools, reference manuals and standards
    • Training leadership

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