Newsletter, January 2015

Child Protection Coordination: What's happening in-country? How can the global CPWG better support field-based coordination?

Every year the CPWG surveys the child protection coordination mechanisms in emergency contexts (defined as those contexts with a Humanitarian Coordinator). This year responses were received from 24 countries, and indicate significant achievements: 88% reported an improvement in their group's capacity for coordination. More than 60% of coordinators who responded had participated in a Child Protection Coordination Training and 54% reported strengthened Information Management capacity.
Of those who answered, 75% have an up-to-date Child Protection response strategy or work plan in place, and 89% of these refer to the Child Protection Minimum Standards (CPMS). The CPMS are now routinely used in advocacy, programme design and proposal-writing, monitoring, mainstreaming, in the development of indicators and to support coordination. 75% of respondents held a CPMS event such as a launch or contextualization workshop in 2014.
Coordination groups at field level vary widely – membership ranges from 3 to 200+ organizations – many of which are local. 71% have Task Forces or Working Groups for different thematic areas, primarily Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Case Management.  Co-leadership of coordination groups by government or an NGO is the norm.

Challenges: Only 4.1% of responding child protection coordination groups described the Child Protection response in their country as fully funded, with 38% of respondents reporting a funding gap of 50% or more.
In addition to the lack of funding, other obstacles to an effective emergency child protection response include the low visibility of child protection in the overall humanitarian response; lack of humanitarian access to affected population and the limited number and capacity of child protection actors.


Afghanistan: Child Protection Minimum Standards Training. Read more >
Indonesia: Child Protection Minimum Standards Contextualization. Read more >
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Child Protection Minimum Standards Training Workshop. Read more >
Turkey: Information Management Training. 

UNICEF, Ebola Child Protection Response 

Context: When analyzing the child protection impacts of the Ebola outbreak -- the need for alternative care and family tracing in particular,  it is important to understand the kinship networks that traditionally support children in the region. In Sierra Leone, before the Ebola outbreak,  many children were living with primary caregivers other than their biological parents -- grandparents, step-mothers etc., even when both parents were still alive (18 % prior to Ebola outbreak).
Care Arrangements: These traditional family arrangements help explain why, even in the context of Ebola and the associated stigma and hardship, the vast majority of orphaned children are not alone or abandoned. In Sierra Leone, UNICEF count 7968 children who have lost one or both parents, or a primary caregiver. Of these, 556 have been identified as “Unaccompanied and Separated” and therefore considered “most vulnerable”.
Key Figures: The Ebola Child Protection response has identified 10,848 children in need of psychosocial support, of which 83.9% have been reached so far. 61.6% identified children have received family tracking and reunification services. 188 children are currently in interim care centres. 

Contact: Ruth O'Connell, UNICEF WCARO,


Sitnour Ali, Rapid Response Team Coordinator, CPWG, was in Syria from August to December 2014 as Child Protection Coordinator supporting the national sub-cluster. The mission achieved the following objectives:
  • The Child Protection sub-Working Group was activated in Syria, after significant groundwork from UNICEF's technical discussion group;
  • Three CPMS trainings held, and 3 days' CPiE training; 
  • Coordinated Child Protection capacity and reach analysis (5Ws) supported by global CPWG IMO. 24 organizations contributed to the process;
  • Informed by the CPMS, Child Protection inputs to Syria 2015 Humanitarian Needs Overview and Strategic Response Plan were drafted and consolidated.
A warm welcome to Petra Heusser, Rapid Response Team Coordinator, CPWG 
Petra joined the GCPWG as Rapid Response Team Coordinator in January 2015 and is seconded by the Swiss Development Cooperation. She gained her professional experience in humanitarian coordination and protection with the Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, the Jesuit Refugee Service in Ecuador, UNHCR at the Colombo-Venezuela border, and at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, where she worked with the Emergency Director. In these positions, Petra's responsibilities included the implementation of  programmes for the protection of children and their families, assessments, liaison, analysis and reporting.
...and Karin Ulin, Rapid Response Team Member, CPWG
Karin has been seconded by Save the Children Sweden.  Since 2009, Karin has worked with UNICEF humanitarian programmes in various capacities: as Emergency Officer at UNICEF's Office of Emergency Programmes in Geneva: as Child Protection Officer in South Sudan, focusing on the coordination of the subcluster; as Emergency Specialist in Dohuk, Northern Iraq and, most recently, as Child Protection in Emergencies Specialist working on the Central African Crisis. Prior to working with UNICEF, Karin worked with both Save the Children Sweden and the Swedish Red Cross. 

CPIE Training of Trainers, 23-28 Mar 2015, Lebanon

The Global CPWG is offering a Child Protection in Emergencies Training of Trainers. The workshop will prioritise Arabic speakers but will be held in English. Other candidates may also apply. Agencies must cover the flight costs of their staff, who should apply through their head office. There is modest financial support available for a few consultants. 

Deadline: 3 Feb 2015.


Research: Expanding the Knowledge Base

The CPMS Task Force is overseeing
an initiative to expand the sector's
knowledge on three standards which
have not traditionally had much attention: Justice for Children, Physical Violence and other harmful practices, and Dangers and Injuries. Scoping reviews for the first two are being finalized, and a reference group is being formed for Dangers and Injuries.
Two main challenges have been identified: one - as these standards are normally not at the core of
many agencies’ work, staff face constraints in setting aside time to develop them, and two - those staff who work on parts of the issue may use different conceptual frameworks and language, which has made document and project identification challenging. 

Further details below.

Research: Saving Lives, Now and Later

The Global CPWG is carrying out research examining the full range of different child protection in emergencies needs and programming options, so as to improve communication of the different components of Child Protection to humanitarian decision-makers including donors; and inform programming choice for child protection interventions. As part of this process we would like to request that you complete this on-line survey, in French or English:

Global Child Protection Working Group - Research on Saving Children's Lives Now & Later Version 3 Survey

Groupe de Travail sur la Protection de l’Enfance - Sauver les enfant en Situation d'Urgence Survey

Deadline: 30 January 2015


  • Indonesia: CPMS Translation and Contextualization, 6-23 January 2015.
  • Thailand: Global-level Training of Trainers, with World Vision International, 26-31 January 2015. 
  • Sudan: CPMS Contextualization Workshop, 3-5 February 2015.
  • Pakistan: CPMS Contextualization Workshop, February 2015.
  • Central African Republic: CPMS Launch and Contextualization Workshop, dates TBC.

For more recent and upcoming CPMS events, read more >

Expanding the knowledge base: Call for input. Justice for children programmes are often taking place in a development rather than a humanitarian context. Nevertheless, such activities can be an important element of emergency preparedness and experiences with development projects that have adapted during times of emergency would be relevant. Please urgently share information from situations, where children of concern regularly come into contact with the justice system and / or their treatment is particularly concerning and identify specific resources and reports that might be of relevance.  Email Martin Nagler,


The International Organization for Migration have launched an online discussion around the World Humanitarian Summit's consultation for the Middle East and North Africa region on migration, exploitation and human trafficking. Please join or contribute if you have the time. Read more here > 

Expanding the knowledge base: Call for input. Children are at risk or suffer from physical violence in all settings: at home, at school, in their communities. It is widely acknowledged among academics, developmental and humanitarian actors that the risks of child maltreatment increases in times of armed conflict, natural disasters, and civil and political unrest. Similarly, anecdotal evidence suggests that in some emergency contexts, harmful practices such as early marriage and female genital mutilation, gain traction as coping mechanisms for families. Interventions designed at protecting children in humanitarian settings tackle these issues tangentially rather than directly and yield little or no evidence about their impact on the children’s well-being. If in your area of practice you are aware of or involved in initiatives that address physical violence or other harmful practices and/or studies that would supplement the evidence and knowledge base on these issues, please do share this information or help us identify specific sources by contacting Gerardo Ducos,

New videos available on the CPWG YouTube channel.

See "What the CPWG does", "Using the CPMS" and "Introducing the CPMS". Watch now >


New publications available at

News Article in the Guardian about the need to strengthen child protection systems for children in emergencies. Read now >

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