The national Child Protection Sub-Sector (also referred to as Child Protection Working Group - CPWG) was established in Yangon in March 2014 under the leadership of UNICEF. The CP Sub-Sector feeds into and supports the broader work of the UNHCR-led Protection Sector, and cooperates closely with other relevant sectors and sub-working groups within the overall humanitarian architecture in Myanmar.
The CP Sub-Sector is seeking to support prioritization of child protection activities within the overall humanitarian response, to enhance predictable and effective programming, and to ensure that quality standards are uphold by actors addressing issues faced by children, including in recognizing the different needs of boys and girls and the requirement of gender- and age-appropriate services.
2021 response plan in numbers
The escalation in fighting in Rakhine and southern Chin in 2020 has led to increased displacement and exposed civilians to a wide range of protection risks, which is further compounded by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In Kachin, the prospect of durable solutions has been hampered by the absence of a nationwide ceasefire agreement and landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination risks. The continuing armed conflict in northern Shan leaves IDPs with little hope of achieving solutions. Restrictions on access as a result of insecurity and COVID-19 add further obstacles in reaching the affected population with humanitarian assistance.
Multiple child protection risks including family separation, maltreatment, sexual and gender-based violence, mental health and psychosocial distress, worst forms of child labor, continue to be of significant concern. Grave violations against children, including killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use, attacks on schools and the military use of schools and the risks from ERW are also of concern. As protective safety nets crumble and household vulnerabilities increase, children continue to suffer the after-effects in the form of increased child abuse, neglect and exploitation. Girls are at higher risk of sexual abuse and exploitation as well as trafficking for child marriage because of institutionalized barriers to fundamental rights, gender norms, poverty and ongoing conflict. Boys are at higher risk of worst forms of child labor, recruitment and use by armed groups and forces and dangerous work in mines. This is exacerbated by humanitarian access restrictions which limit their access to case management, MHPSS, information on services and other essential child protection services. Local actors’ capacity to be able to provide quality and effective child protection services is more critical than ever.
The Protection Sector’s overarching goal in 2021 will be to improve the realization of rights for people in humanitarian need across Myanmar. Advocacy will continue with the Government for increased humanitarian access to the affected communities, unhindered access to protection and basic services, and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. Wherever feasible, a transition from emergency humanitarian responses to early recovery to durable solutions for IDPs will be sought. Efforts will continue to operationalize the Centrality of Protection in humanitarian programming through regular analysis of protection risks and the strengthening of protection mainstreaming.
Objective 1: More than 856,000 crisis-affected people have improved access to inclusive protection services.
Objective 2: Protection environment for more than 856,000 crisis-affected people is improved by mitigating threats to mental wellbeing, physical and legal safety.
Objective 3: Durable solutions for more than 7,700 IDPs are supported in line with international protection standards.