Beirut, 22 February 2017: The Delegation of the European Union in Lebanon (EU) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Beirut office launched today the EU-UNICEF Child Rights Toolkit in Lebanon that aims at integrating child rights in development cooperation. The toolkit provides practical guidance to a rights-based, child-focused approach to development programming, budgeting, policy-making and law making. The launch event, which took place as part of a two-day workshop, was attended by senior representatives from the EU, UNICEF, Ministries of Justice, Social Affairs, Interior and Municipalities, Education and Higher Education, and Labour, as well as national and international development partners and media.
The Child Rights Toolkit was developed with funding from the European Union to address the needs of national decision-makers and practitioners in integrating children's rights when elaborating programmes and policies in different sectors, particularly justice, education, social policy, infrastructure and finance. The toolkit will be introduced to different stakeholders at the workshop that is tailored to the Lebanon context.
Julia Koch, Deputy Head of Mission at the Delegation of the European Union said: “Over the past decade Lebanon has been taking positive steps to promote children's rights and protection. Although progress has been achieved there are still factors that hinder the complete observance of children’s rights. We have to acknowledge that the most vulnerable children continue to be at risk of right violations. Many of the refugees from Syria are children, who are exposed to many risks including child labour, sexual exploitation, early and forced marriage, and statelessness.”
Central to the child rights agenda is a strong child protection and justice system that through laws, policies, regulations and services prevents and responds to all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of all girls and boys under the age of 18.
UNICEF’s representative in Lebanon, Tanya Chapuisat, said: “Our efforts to promote the rights of children will only make sense if we are able to translate these rights and standards into tangible steps and approaches. This is what the toolkit aims for: providing guidance for national decision makers to make informed and practical strategic decisions that will have a positive impact on the lives of all children in Lebanon. The EU has been, and remains, a committed partner to ensuring children and women all over Lebanon are protected and today’s launch is yet another milestone in our work together for this goal.”
In response to these challenges, the EU has been supporting various actions in Lebanon. Since 2014, it has committed around €30 million for child protection. The EU has partnered with the Ministry of Social Affairs and UNICEF to establish and implement the "National Plan to Safeguard Children and Women in Lebanon". Under this plan, the EU is committed to strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Social Affairs and its Social Development Centres to provide protection services for children and women with a particular focus on gender-based violence. In addition, the EU is currently preparing a new programme to support Lebanon in the area of justice for children, in close cooperation with relevant line ministries.
For further Information please contact:
UNICEF Lebanon, Communication Specialist