There is growing concern that the deferred opening of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic control measures in north-east Nigeria will continue to heighten the risks of children to be neglected and exposed to violence at community level. This risk is even more heightened for girls, particularly adolescent girls who are the least likely to resume school once they reopen and face being subject to child marriage and sexual violence.
Through the LGA-level child protection coordination mechanisms, the Child Protection Sub-Sector (CPSS) has identified gaps in the delivery of child protection case management and mental health and psychosocial support services. These gaps were reported in Borno’s Gwoza LGA, including Pulka and Mafa, as well as in several LGAs in Yobe. Whilst some child protection actors have been identified to cover some of the gaps, the critical underfunding of the child protection humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria at a time of growing needs in child protection services due to the COVID-19 pandemic remains a major challenge.
The Child Protection Sub-Sector (CPSS) conducted a virtual orientation session on referrals in child protection. The session enhanced child protection actors understanding of the purposes of referrals and how they should be used in a safe and timely manner while fostering the child’s best interests.
Through the LGA-level child protection coordination mechanisms, the CPSS documented messages from children about concerns and hopes for their well-being. Once reviewed and collated, these messages will be translated and recorded with the support of TWB and will be available in audio, art and written format. The messages will also inform the Humanitarian Planning Cycle (HPC) for 2021 as part of measures to enhance child participation and child-centric planning in the humanitarian response.
To continue promoting integration of child protection in other sectors, the CPSS will hold an orientation session for the Logistics Sector. This session will identify linkages between the two sectors and how logistics actors can help prevent and mitigate protection risks for children.
The CPSS will conduct a new consultation with child protection actors in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Whilst the LGA-level coordination mechanisms have been strengthened in Borno State and the Mubi axis in Adamawa State, there is a clear need to strengthen LGA child protection coordination mechanisms in local areas in Adamawa and Yobe states. To this end, the CPSS will work closely with the relevant ministries responsible for child welfare to identify child protection actors with the capacity to take on the role of child protection focal point agencies in selected LGAs. In addition, the CPSS will offer support in identifying a child protection actor to support the state-level child protection coordination in Yobe State.