One of Plan International's key strengths is its close and long-term collaboration with communities and bringing communities together to drive long-term change. This has helped us gain important insights into how to strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms and how to link them effectively to government mechanisms. This work is now one of our global priorities for the coming years.
We recognise that communities, families and children themselves are an integral part of any effective child protection system. As such, we focus on bringing the participants together to collaborate in building a long-term protective environment for children in the communities where we work.
We recently launched a global project that includes researching, piloting and documenting adaptable models of child protection, developing advocacy in child protection and building child protection capacity. We are also bringing together a wide array of international child protection experts to agree on a future course of action on child protection mechanisms.
Effective child protection requires community members and leaders to be aware of and committed to children's right to protection, and involve the children in their care in the process. It also requires them to identify, prevent and respond to violence against children and to take measures to protect children in emergency situations. We are committed to working with community members to achieving this in the communities where we work.
We also support collective action by community members against harmful practices and discrimination towards specific groups or individuals. We enable community members to monitor issues and advocate for change amongst local and national duty-bearers and service providers.
Case Study: Linking community-based child-protection to national systems in Peru
In 28 rural communities, Plan International has supported the concept of community-based child-protection mechanisms within an agreed government framework (COMUDENA), which includes a protocol for action, detection, referral and reporting. The groups are recognised by the municipalities in 28 communities and carry out awareness-raising actions among families, identifying cases of violence and referring them to the appropriate bodies. They are linked to the Municipal Community Defence Committee for Children and Adolescents (DEMUNA).