Workshops on child protection jointly organized in Niger by UNODC's Global Programme on Violence against Children and GLO.ACT in the framework of the Sahel Programme


GLO.ACT Violence against Children in Niger Niamey, Niger - 17 November 2017 - The abduction, recruitment and exploitation of children by extremist and terrorist groups is a global problem that particularly affects the Sahel region, as well as North Africa and the Middle East. When associated with extremist and terrorist groups, children become victims of multilevel violence. 

Child victims can be exploited for supporting roles such as cooks, spies and porters, subject to indoctrination or combat formations or used as child soldiers in hostilities. They may be subject to physical and psychological violence and other inhuman or degrading treatment. They may also find themselves facing prosecution for their role in alleged crimes. Child victims of recruitment can also become victims of trafficking in persons for recruitment into armed groups, forced labour and sexual exploitation.

At the request of the Government of Niger, UNODC's Global Programme on Violence against Children has worked since 2016 to address this multifaceted phenomenon. From 7-10 and 14-17 November 2017 under the framework of UNODC Sahel Programme, the Global Programme in collaboration with the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) and Terre des Hommes Italie delivered two workshops for 80 participants on assistance, communication and protection measures for child victims of violence, recruitment and trafficking. The activities completed a training cycle for 120 law enforcement, social workers and judicial officials coming from all 8 regions in the country, including areas most affected such as Diffa, Tawa, Zinder and Tillabery.

GLO.ACT Violence against Children in NigerThe capacity building workshop covered the international and national framework on violence against children including human trafficking, the rights of child victims of violence, the types, forms and effects of violence and exploitation against children, the identification of child victims of human trafficking, the psychological impact of trauma on child victims and how to best interview and communicate with them, as well as assistance and protection measures that child victims should have access to in Niger.

During his opening remarks, Mr. Jean Etienne Ibrahim, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, encouraged participants to actively engage in debates and exchange good practices with the national and international experts with the aim of strengthening the capacity of criminal justice and child protection actors to identify, assist and protect child victims.

One of the female directors of a local child protection agency explained that the workshop gave her the opportunity to talk about the challenges she has had to face protecting child victims. She went on to say that attending the workshop equipped her with specific and practical tools for situations involving child victims.

Also participating in the training were 8 United Nations Volunteers (UNVs), nationals of Niger recruited by UNODC who are working to ensure access to legal assistance for detainees accused of terrorism, including children. Recently, these UNVs helped Niger's judicial authorities to process 230 cases involving terrorism suspects, including 11 women and 25 children, in 60 days.

UNODC will continue working with national authorities and stakeholders on this issue at the request of the Government of Niger.

GLO.ACT Violence against Children in NigerThe Global Programme on Violence against Children is UNODC's instrument to effectively implement the "United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice", adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2014 with resolution A/RES/194/69. Under this current framework, technical assistance activities are being delivered at global, regional and country levels. A key component of this programme is the provision of technical assistance in a new area of work for UNODC: children involved with violent extremist groups, including terrorist groups. The programme aims at supporting Member States in strengthening criminal justice systems to better respond to this new phenomenon. The governments of Austria, Canada, Colombia and Switzerland fund this programme. These workshops were also supported by the Sahel Programme, UNODC's Contribution to the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS), with the support from the governments of Denmark, Japan and the United States.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.


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