CHILD Protection CREED 25: Except child protection is protected by a system, articulated in a policy by government and stakeholders, it is remains a mere discussion, which has no impact on the actual protection of the child.

Recently, I participated in a child protection mapping in Lagos State. It was a project sponsored by UNICEF, with the active support of the Lagos State Government, Hope Worldwide and USAID. The purpose of the mapping exercise, among others, is to review the existing social services available for child protection in Lagos State.

The mapping was facilitated by Child Frontiers. The thinking of the facilitating organisation is that except we establish and services a child protection system, it is impossible for us to effectively protect the child. I completely agree with them.

The world has moved beyond issue-based approach to child protection. The world is now thinking in terms of system. System refers to a group or combination of interrelated, interdependent, or interacting elements forming a collective entity. System here has three components: 1. Goal or set of goals; 2. Interdependence; 3. Balance.

Goal or set of goals speak of a well-articulated end, in total consideration of the needs of the child. Interdependence speaks of seamless cooperation between bodies established to see to child protection. It therefore means each body responsible for child protection in a Local Government Area or at the State level understands its terms of reference clearly. Besides, it means the establishing authority of the bodies has fully equipped the bodies to carry out their terms of reference. It means that except the bodies understand their terms of reference and they are fully equipped to carry out same, the principle of interdependence cannot work. Balance speaks of the fact that bodies responsible for child protection understand their boundaries. Understanding boundaries by bodies responsible for child protection creates balance and balance creates effectiveness. It helps parties to know when the bulk stops at their tables.

Thank you for visiting. I urge you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

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