World Childhood Foundation

Network for Protection in Bahia project celebrates its third year

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The Network for Protection project is a Childhood Brasil initiative conducted in partnership with pulp companies Stora Enso and Veracel, as well as Instituto Tribos Jovens, a local social organization. The project is designed to bring together different actors, companies together with government and NGOs, and to develop and strengthen public policies for combating sexual violence against children and adolescents in Eunápolis, Porto Seguro, and Santa Cruz Cabrália, three towns located on the Discovery Coast (Costa do Descobrimento) of Bahia state.

The project began in 2013 when mobilization and coordination actions were carried out within the target segments, and provided training for the professionals involved.

In 2014, during the second year of the project, the initiative sought to raise awareness in the tourism sector and develop municipal plans for confronting sexual violence against children and adolescents in the three towns, while also focusing on the prevention of sexual violence during the soccer World Cup.

The project began 2015 by holding town hall meetings in each location in order to present and validate our action plans, and to assess the service flows to children and adolescents. These meetings were attended by representatives of various government agencies, as well as the Attorney General’s office, the town councils themselves, Civil and Military Police, Federal Highway Patrol, NGOs, and indigenous community leaders.

Since the beginning, the Network for Protection project has always positioned its activities along the following four strategic lines:

1. Coordination and mobilization of strategic segments: the initiative have held seminars involving more than 500 participants, and contributed to the public involvement and commitment of managers, civil society organizations, and tourism operators regarding actions for child protection and the fight against sexual violence. The success of these seminars is demonstrated by the large number of signatories to our Partnership Agreement and the Pact for the Protection of Children in Tourism.

2. Training of professionals involved with guaranteed rights: the Network for Protection program has provided courses and meetings which explore key issues in depth in order to align the teams that operate with services and organizations dedicated to preventing and combating sexual violence against children and adolescents. Again, more than 500 professionals from 121 government agencies and civil society organizations have taken part.

3. Establishment of Local Management Committees: 15 meetings and workshops were held with these committees, which resulted in the development of action plans to combat sexual violence against children and adolescents in each town, as well as plans for comprehensive service flows.

4. Consolidation and dissemination of methodology: after evaluating the project’s first two years, for 2015 it is planned to assess the activities undertaken in the third year, and then organize and publish our experiences.

Other results of the project include: (a) the implementation of CREAS (Specialized Social Assistance Reference Center) in Santa Cruz Cabrália; and (b) overseeing the project to implement PAIR (Program for Integrated Actions and References to Combat Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents in Brazil) throughout the region. The initiative to implement PAIR across Brazil was supported by Childhood Brasil, as a result of contacts and meetings held in Brasília.

For 2015 it is also planned to monitor the implementation of municipal plans, and hold a seminar to present results upon completion of the project.

World Childhood Foundation

Childhood Brasil introduces a training guide to take special depositions from children and adolescents

NEWS São Paulo. October 21, 2014 – Childhood Brasil, in partnership with the São Paulo State Court, held a seminar entitled “Listening to children and adolescents in situations of sexual violence: guidelines for consolidating federal public policy”, on October 21 at the GADE MMD Auditorium.

At the event, Ana Maria Drummond, Childhood Brasil’s Executive Director, announced the launch of the Reference Guide to Take Special Depositions from Children and Adolescents in Situations of Sexual Violence: Theoretical and Methodological Aspects, which will be an invaluable tool for training the many types of professionals who interview children in special deposition rooms.

Special deposition rooms bring a sense of welcome relief to children. The protected setting helps make relating the situations they’ve been through to be less traumatic. During the listening process, the presence of a trained professional is essential to a successful forensic interview. In addition to the damage already experienced, a child can undergo tremendous psychological stress if the interview fails to consider the subject’s unique phase of development. Special deposition procedures have already been adopted in 28 countries, while in Brazil approximately 100 rooms are now outfitted for this type of interview. São Paulo currently has 24 special deposition rooms.

“The Reference Guide to Take Special Depositions from Children and Adolescents is a landmark publication to help train the professionals who listen to the children. We’re extremely proud of the results of our work, which has involved dozens of experts during two years of research and dedication”, Ms. Drummond said.

To access the Reference Guide to Take Special Depositions from Children and Adolescents (in Portuguese only), please visit www.childhood.org.br/

World Childhood Foundation

Childhood Brasil warns about the risk of increasing exploitation of children and adolescents during major sports events

São Paulo – Less than 100 days for FIFA World Cup, Childhood Brasil signals to be more alert for the protection of children and adolescents in Brazil. During the event, the gathering of tourists in the host cities and the resulting demand for temporary workers may trigger an increase in child labor and in vulnerability factors for the exploitation of children and adolescents.

“We are dedicated to finding an event that develop actions to mitigate the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents”, the entity’s executive director, Ana Maria Drummond, states. “Our main objective is to contribute for this mega event to leave a positive legacy for Brazilian children and adolescents”, she adds.

Among the numerous risk factors named by the entity, during the sports events, the preponed school vacation is one of the most worrisome. The heavier traffic of people throughout Brazil, more alcohol and drugs being consumed, and many parents without a place to leave their children create a vulnerability environment for childhood and adolescence.

In action – Keeping FIFA World Cup in mind, Childhood Brasil has been present in different fronts. The first front is to disseminate knowledge, as you fight the problem through knowledge. For that, Childhood Brasil brought to Brazil, in partnership with the OAK Foundation, a study carried out by Brunel University, London, called “Child Exploitation and the FIFA World Cup: A review of risks and protective intervention”.

The study confirmed that major sports events, such as FIFA World Cup or the Olympics, bring an increase in risk of violation of children and adolescents’ rights. “Since 2012, we have been organizing ourselves to receive FIFA World Cup. We have a comprehensive project in progress, exclusively designed to disseminate information and prevent risks”, Ana Maria Drummond explains. “The dissemination, in Brazil, of the results of Brunel University’s study is one of the pillars of this project, as, besides working to influence action plans towards childhood protection, in the host cities, we increase the subject’s visibility and coordinate action plans with the three sectors to fight for this cause”, she adds.

The study, carried out and completed in 2013, involved the review of near 300 publications, reports, and web sites, case studies and consulting over 70 important groups of people interested in the subject, social organizations, sports organizations, and the government, including UNICEF, Childhood Brasil itself, FIFA, and soccer associations.

During the pre-FIFA World Cup period, Childhood’s second major action is to involve the private sector in the cause, which comprehends from distance learning plans, in partnership with EY (prior Ernst & Young), to training, for instance, the employees of Atlantica Hotels that has 80 hotels in 45 Brazilian cities, 10 of which are hosting games. The NGO is also contributing for the formation of the Sports Ministry’s volunteers, for them to be on the watch for rights violations during FIFA World Cup and to know how to act, when facing sexual exploitation.

Still in the scope of the actions linked to the major event, Childhood Brasil is actively participating in the Convergence Agenda, an inter-sector initiative, coordinated by the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil. The project establishes, in each host-city, the creation and the strenghthening of Committees for the Complete Protection of Children and Adolescents.

In numbers – According to the Brazilian rights-violation reporting hotline of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil (SDH/PR), over 120,000 reports on children and adolescents’ rights violation were filed in 2013.

Among the 12 States that will host the games, there are five top-rankers in the rights-violation reporting, according to 2013 data:

1st São Paulo – 17,990

2nd Rio de Janeiro – 15,635

3rd Bahia – 10,957

4th Minas Gerais – 9,565

5th Rio Grande do Sul – 6,269

It is important to note that these numbers do not reflect the actual situation, as not all cases are reported.