ERIKS Development Partner

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the starting point for ERIKS’ work on protection

Abuse and exploitation of children takes place in every country and society and across all social groups. ERIKS strives to protect children from all kinds of violence and abuse, through sensitization on the rights of the child, capacity development, advocacy and networking between different institutions, authorities and organisations involved in child protection.

In ERIKS’ terminology, child protection embraces all areas where the well-being of children is threatened by acts or practises performed by individuals, organisations or societies. Apart from being a thematic priority area for development interventions, child protection is an important aspect in all ERIKS work. In everything that we do, we must ensure that children are protected against abuse and exploitation under the framework of ERIKS Child Protection Policy.

In some societies, certain forms of violence against children are viewed as part of the culture and have become socially accepted, for example female genital mutilation and child marriages. In these contexts, emphasis is put on building awareness and changing attitudes and practises. Even though legislation might be in place to ban these harmful practises, they are very hard to eradicate solely by legal measures. In addition, dialogue and information about the negative consequences of these practices is necessary to achieve lasting change.

Every child has the right to a family. However, for children in vulnerable situations, different organisations and individuals tend to see children’s homes and institutions as the solution. ERIKS believes that centres and institutions can play a temporary role in assisting a vulnerable child, but this must not be a permanent solution. ERIKS works in collaboration with authorities and civil society to promote minimum standards for charitable children’s institutions and strategies for alternative care.

ERIKS’ approaches:

  • To sensitize children and their caregivers on the rights of children to protection from neglect, abuse, exploitation and harmful practices.
  • To support caregivers and communities to organize themselves for the protection of children against abuse and exploitation.
  • To build the capacity of and facilitate networking between different authorities, institutions and organizations involved in child protection.
  • To advocate for and promote legislation, services and minimum standards in relation to child protection.
  • To raise awareness on legislation and consequences of harmful traditional practises and promote behaviour change in relation to these practises.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child makes a number of statements that relate to child protection.

“The child has the right to be protected from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation” (Article 19)

“The child has the right to be protected against child labour, economic and sexual exploitation, sale, trafficking and abduction.” (Articles 32-35)

“All appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practises prejudicial to the health of children shall be taken.” (Article 24)

“A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his/her family environment shall be entitled to special protection and alternative care. Such care shall give priority to family environment solutions such as foster placement and adoption. A child shall not be deliberately separated from his/her parents except in very particular and grave circumstances involving abuse or neglect.” (Articles 9 and 20)