The current Child Protection strategy provides a framework for protection of refugee children from abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation, as well as their broader protection as refugees in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KR-I). The strategy outlines the key objectives and approaches undertaken to achieve these objectives, the coordination mechanisms and partnerships in the area of child protection, as well as performance measurements.
At a general level, UNHCR’s Child protection strategy seeks to support families and communities and strengthen the protective environment, taking into account the role of social norms in preventing violence against children and promoting positive social change towards strengthening protection. The strengthening of community networks, specialized services and national child protection systems is fundamental in building a protective environment for children. Advocacy for nondiscriminatory access of refugee children to national child protection services and systems is a key area of work for UNHCR.
Closely linked to SGBV and Education strategies for KR-I, the CP Strategy supports achievement of the six goals outlined in UNHCR’s Global Framework on Child Protection:
Girls and boys are safe where they live, learn and play;
Children’s participation and capacity are integral to their protection;
Girls and boys have access to child-friendly procedures;
Girls and boys obtain legal documentation;
Girls and boys with specific needs receive targeted support;
Girls and boys achieve durable solutions in their best interests.
UNHCR action to protect children is guided by the following principles:
Systems approach. Strengthening national child protection systems and services in line with UNHCR’s Global Framework for the Protection of Children and designing holistic programming that address the full range of child protection risks.
Complementarity. Working in partnership with States, communities, children, UNICEF and other child protection actors to develop a comprehensive interagency child protection response that maximizes resources and the complementary of all partners’ contributions.
Urgency. Ensure prioritization of and immediate response to protection risks for children including prioritizing the most at-risk children.
Child’s Best Interests. The best interests of the child is a primary consideration in all decisions and actions undertaken for and with children including during refugee status determination and other protection procedures.
Participatory. Promote the participation of children in their own protection and in all matters affecting them in accordance with their age, gender, maturity and capacity.
Equity. Promote an inclusive and non-discriminatory approach to the protection of refugee children, irrespective of their nationality and place of residence.
Inclusivity. Address the specific risks that boys and girls of specific ages face, as well as children with disabilities and children with other specific backgrounds.
Do No Harm. Conduct actions, procedures and programmes in a way that does not place the child at further risk of harm, including as a result of unintended consequences.
Social cohesion. Strengthen integration of refugee children into their communities and implement programmes in a way that addresses the impact of the refugee influx on communities and promotes social cohesion among refugee and impacted communities.