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Project Code and Sector
Background
Project inception and current status
Execution modality and implementation arrangements
Execution modality and implementation arrangements
2012 Results
Overview and Activities 2011-2012

PROJECT CHILDHOOD: Protection Pillar: 'Enhancing law enforcement capacity for national and transnational action to identify and effectively act upon travelling child-sex offenders in the Mekong' (XSPT33)

1. Project Code and Sector

No. and Title: XSP T33 - PROJECT CHILDHOOD: Protection Pillar: 'Enhancing law enforcement capacity for national and transnational action to identify and effectively act upon travelling child-sex offenders in the Mekong'
Contract start date: August 2010
Inception phase: November 2010 - September 2011
Donor review/approval of Project implementation Design Document: September 2011 - December 2011
Actual implementation start date: January 2012
Project end date: August 2014
Project duration: 4 Years
Budget: AUD $4m for Protection Pillar (plus UNODC and partner government contributions in kind)
Location: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam
Link to UNODC Regional Programme outcomes: Pillar 1:Illicit trafficking - Outcome 1.2
Pillar 3:Criminal Justice - Outcome 3.3
Executing agency: UNODC
Partner organization: INTERPOL
Government Implementing Agencies: 1. Cambodia (Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice)/Letter of agreement signed
2. Lao PDR (Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Justice)/TBD
3. Thailand (Royal Thai Police and Ministry of Justice)/UNODC Cooperation agreement signed
4. Viet Nam (Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Justice)/ Letter of agreement signed

 

2. Background

Project Childhood (Prevention and Protection Pillars combined) is a $7.5 million Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) initiative to combat the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism in the Mekong sub-region. Project Childhood builds on Australia's long-term support for programs that better protect children and prevent their abuse.

Project Childhood brings together UNODC, INTERPOL and World Vision to address the serious crime of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The project works in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. It takes a dual prevention and protection approach.

UNODC, in partnership with INTERPOL, is working with law enforcement agencies to protect children through strengthening law enforcement responses to sexual abuse of children by travelling child sex offenders. Through the increased knowledge of law enforcement and stronger regional and international cooperation, governments will be better equipped to identify and counter child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

World Vision works with Governments and communities to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual exploitation in tourism by raising awareness and building community resilience. Through the use of public campaigns, training and telephone hotlines it is expected that participating governments, communities, and tourism industries will become more aware of the vulnerabilities of at-risk children to sexual exploitation in tourism and to take more effective preventative measures.

 

3. Project inception and current status

The Protection Pillar underwent an inception phase from November 2010 to September 2011, with approval from AusAID to start the implementation phase from January 2012. The project team was fully staffed in August 2011.

 

4. Execution modality and implementation arrangements

The Protection Pillar aims to strengthen and enhance the capacity of law enforcement officials in identifying, arresting and prosecuting travelling child sex offenders. To achieve this aim, four key responses have been developed, as profiled below:

Objective 1: (Legislation) - The Protection Pillar team will work with police, prosecutors and judges in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to help them review, and as appropriate revise, their domestic legislative frameworks so that they meet international standards for prosecuting offences related to sexual abuse of children by travelling sex offenders.

Objective 2: (Training and capacity building activities) - The Protection Pillar team will work in two phases: (i) With identified police officers / units in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam in order to identify training and other capacity development needs (e.g. standard operating procedures, equipment and mentoring support) that will enhance their capacity to effectively identify and arrest travelling child sex offenders and protect victims; (ii) With police, prosecutors and judges in order to enhance their capacity to effectively prosecute travelling child sex offenders and protect victims.

Objective 3: (National and Regional Cooperation) - The Protection Pillar Team will promote inter-agency cooperation both within and across borders in order to more effectively combat travelling child sex offenders and to protect victims. In particular, the team will help establish an INTERPOL Specialists Sub-Group on Crimes against Children in the Southeast Asia region. This will be a working group consisting of the ASEAN countries dedicated to preventing the abuse of children by travelling child sex offenders and will aim to meet annually to share evidence of best practice in investigative methods and law enforcement strategies.

Objective 4: (Operations) - Led by INTERPOL, the Protection Pillar team will help strengthen 4 operational teams in police units identified in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam that focus on investigating sexual abuse of children committed by travelling child sex offenders. This will involve providing identified teams with technical / operational support to help ensure well planned investigations are undertaken to ensure that offenders are identified, investigated, arrested and prosecuted, and that child victims are appropriately supported.

 

5. Execution modality and implementation arrangements

UNODC and INTERPOL will implement Project Childhood: Protection Pillar activities in accordance with an Agreement concluded between the two Organizations and on the basis of the outputs and responsibilities described in the Project Document and Project Implementation Design Document.

UNODC is responsible for overall financial management and administrative reporting of the Project and is accountable to the project donor for the appropriate use of project funds in accordance with UN Rules and Procedures and the additionally the specific terms of any donor Financing Agreement.

The impact of Project Childhood will be multiplied by close coordination and collaboration between the Protection and Prevention pillars. Implementing Partners of both pillars meet on a monthly basis to share lessons learned and consider how joint activities can be undertaken to facilitate a holistic response to child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

The Project Childhood Coordinating Committee (PCCC) was established on 10 July 2012, involving representatives from partner governments, the Implementing Partners, and other stakeholders. Members of the PCCC are from key ministries relevant to child protection: Police, Justice, Tourism and Social Affairs Ministries. The PCCC meeting set the strategy of the projects' work for the year ahead and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the impact of the project over the past year and how it could be improved or modified in the year ahead. UNODC organized the inaugural PCCC meeting, and World Vision will organize the second meeting in 2013.

 

6. 2012 Results

Legislation

  • Completion of the UNODC Legal Analysis and Implementation Report - The Protection Pillar has completed its analysis of legal frameworks in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, relating to child sexual exploitation by travelling child sex offenders. Clear and practical recommendations have been presented to government counterparts with regard to improving legislative frameworks to combat travelling child sex offenders. A Legal Reform process has been initiated in project countries and begins in 2013.


Training ad Capacity Building

  • The 3 Police Training Technical Working Groups in Cambodia, Thailand and Viet Nam were established to plan and design the police training curriculum.
  • The Police Training Curriculum for Front Line Officers and Specialists titled Investigating Sexual Exploitation of Children has been completed and is being reviewed by national counterparts before institutionalization in training academies and schools in 2013.
  • Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam - 32 Officers (8 from each country) received training on the Investigation and Prosecution of Online/Offline Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • Cambodia - 39 newly elected female Deputy Commissioners were provided with induction training on Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking
  • Cambodia - 86 Cambodian National Police Officers and gender working group members received training on Gender issues and Violence against women and children
  • Thailand - 241 Community Policing Officers and Community Leaders were trained on creating a safe environment for children and the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse in Communities


National and Regional Cooperation

  • Viet Nam Project Board established
  • Project Childhood Coordinating Committee established
  • Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation Workshop meeting in Viet Nam
  • 1st Southeast Asia Working party meeting


Operations

  • 3 Operational teams identified and to be supported by the Project.