Save the Children (SC) is the world’s leading independent organization for children. As part of the organisation’s contribution towards ensuring every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation, Save the Children has been working with armed forces in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1998 and with the African Union (AU) for the last 10 years to promote the rights of children in conflicts, post-conflict, and protracted political emergency situations. With support from SIDA, Save the Children has worked towards strengthening child protection in African Union peace support operations since 2013. The engagement has borne results including the development and adoption of a harmonized and standardized curriculum and standards on child protection and child rights which is currently being rolled out by the East African Standby Force (EASF), and troop contributing countries such as Uganda, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.
Save the Children in collaboration with partners continues to augment efforts that protect girls and boys in conflict settings. These interventions aim at strengthening the capacity of peace support operations actors to deliver their protection mandate and ensure girls and boys affected by armed conflicts and protracted political disputes enjoy their rights.
The ‘Integrating Child Protection within the African Peace and Security Architecture’ (ICPAPSA) project focuses on four key objectives:
a) To enhance the commitment and capacity to prevent and respond to violence against girls and boys within the AU Peace and Security Department (AU PSD), East Africa Standby Force (EASF), ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), and Member States.
b) To institute and monitor a functional accountability framework on child protection within the AU PSD, EASF, ESF, and troop contributing countries.
c) To increase knowledge, evidence and collective understanding on child rights and child protection issues within peace support operations.
d) To improve participation among girls and boys affected by armed conflict to contribute to decisions and processes of the AU, Regional Mechanisms/Bodies, and Member States.
To achieve this, Save the Children collaborates with stakeholders within the AU, Regional Bodies and Regional Mechanisms in East and West Africa, and National Armed Forces.