Strengthening and Expanding the Services of the Ocpm (or Central Bureau For The Protection Of Minors And Families And The Prevention Human Trafficking)

Rencontre à la Brigade de Gendarmerie de Zakpota

Promoting concrete and lasting change for children

Project Duration  : 2014 to today

Since its creation in 2008 by the government of Benin, the OCPM, headquartered in Cotonou, has accomplished significant work for the protection of children. However, the OCPM faces certain challenges that hinder, among others, the establishment of regional offices, the proper functioning of the organisation, and its capacity to effectively respond to Benin’s child protection needs.  

Following several high-level meetings, the Government of Benin launched a project to expand and strengthen the services provided by the OCPM. The project aims at training OCPM personnel and establishing child and family protection support units in existing police stations and constable brigades. The project will also lead to the establishment of regional offices in Parakou and Zakpota. It is in this context that the government reached out to the Bureau, with the support of UNICEF Benin.


The IBCR’s strategy in Benin, in partnership with UNICEF and Beninese stakeholders in the child protection system, aims to support the government in its effort to improve the juvenile protection system, more specifically to:

  • Strengthen the OCPM’s internal operations by providing assistance for the drafting and validation of the terms of reference
  • Develop and validate standard operating procedures for child protection services, police stations and constable brigades
  • Prepare a practical training toolkit on children’s rights, specifically designed for the OCPM, police officers and constables
  • Develop strategic guidelines and a two-year action plan for the expansion of the OCPM’s services beyond Cotonou and the surrounding area, including the technical, financial and material aspects for both regions

Over the course of 2014 and 2015, the Bureau hosted various workshops in Benin, including the project launch and the development of standard operating procedures. In this first phase of the project, data was also collected on the child protection system and on the training of security forces.

The second component of the project is dedicated to the validation of all the tools developed, including the training toolkit on children’s rights, and the training of 30 instructors.

  • Intervention locations : Cotonou, Parakou, Zakpota
  • Project duration: 2014 to today
  • Partners :
    • Government of Benin
    • OCPM
    • UNICEF
    • National Police and Constable General Directorate
    • Civil society organisations involved in the child protection system
  • Highlights:
    • More than 60 key stakeholders in the child protection system were consulted during the workshops
    • Meetings were held with some 20 child victims and children in conflict with the law so they could share their experiences, perceptions and expectations of Beninese police forces
  • Fields of activity and expertise :
    • Capacity building
    • Advocacy and institutional support
    • Tools, reference manuals and standards

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