UNHCR Ethiopia: Child Protection Factsheet (December 2017)
Refugee children are at greater risk than adults of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, including human trafficking or forced recruitment into armed groups.
45,610 refugee children in Ethiopia are unaccompanied or separated. In the Shire refugee operation close to 25% of all children in the camps are separated from their primary caregivers.
The Ethiopia National Child Protection Strategy (2017-2019) outlines six goals and intervention areas for Child Protection which UNHCR and partners are working towards.
Start of vital events registration for refugees: As part of the pledges it made at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in 2016, the Government of Ethiopia has started country-wide civil registration of refugees as of 27 October 2017. Refugee children born in Ethiopia are now able to obtain birth certificates issued by the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) on behalf of the Federal Vital Events Registration Agency (FVERA) in all refugee camps and urban centres.
The approximately 70,000 refugee children born in Ethiopia over the last 10 years who have not received birth certificates can obtain these retroactively. The inclusion of refugees in the national civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system constitutes a milestone for refugee protection in Ethiopia. In situations of displacement, birth registration is an important protection tool and facilitates refugees’ access to essential basic services, such as education and health care.
Opening of urban Child Protection Centre in Addis Ababa: The first Refugee Child Protection Centre in Addis Ababa was officially opened on 2 November 2017 with a colourful ceremony attended by hundreds of refugees, the Ambassador of Switzerland, JRS, ARRA and UNHCR representatives. At the Centre, vulnerable refugee children of all backgrounds and ages will be able to access comprehensive child protection services provided by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).
Services include child protection case management including placement of unaccompanied children in family-based foster care, provision of psychosocial support/counselling, a Child Friendly Space with indoor and outdoor games, Amharic and English language classes, life skills training, catch-up classes and access to vocational training.