APSP is currently working on mainstreaming Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) within the East African Community and the Africa Union. The project seeks to promote the rights and well-being of marginalized children in Africa through evidence-based research and advocacy for Child Sensitive Social Protection. The project is implemented under the backdrop of Africa being home to a disproportionate share of children who face poverty and multiple deprivations. Since social protection is highly regarded as a development measure to address poverty, there are heavy financial investments by African governments to address poverty. However, heavy investments do not necessarily address childhood deprivation. The project’s main strategy is to generate evidence to inform the need to develop, invest and engage in initiatives which will ensure that CSOs and governments participate in CSSP operationalization, to embed CSSP ideas in policy and practice.
- The most significant change is the entrenchment of child protection and child rights governance-related articles in the Draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Right of Citizens to Social Protection and Social Security. The draft protocol is an effort by the Africa Union Commission to strengthen the provision of social security and social protection to all the peoples of Africa. The draft protocol provides an accountability mechanism for member states once it is signed and adopted. It sets out the fundamental principles and obligations for the Member States as they create an environment, systems and structures for the successful development and implementation of social protection programs. APSP advocated for various articles in relation to Child Sensitive social protection to be included in the protocol. These articles include Article 7 on Women and girls ( promote continued education and protection against FGM and early marriage), Article 8 on Family protection ( care of orphans and vulnerable children), and Article 10 on Children and Young People which has a raft of provisions for children and youth including the promotion of social protection programs that are sensitive to the needs of children.
- At the EAC level the most significant change was child participation in the development of the child-friendly version of the East Africa Community Child Policy 2016. The participation of children in material development was phenomenal. It provided an opportunity for an enhanced understanding of children’s rights by the children themselves, as well as promoting the public understanding of children’s rights from the perspective of children.
- The project has built the capacity of Civil Society organizations in Africa to demand advocacy for child-sensitive social protection. There has been a huge gap in knowledge on child poverty and vulnerability, and therefore the evidence generated through this project has supported CSO advocacy for child-sensitive social protection.