The Protection Sector, including the Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence Sub-Sectors, enhanced its capacity to provide life-saving protection assistance particularly in most affected areas of Borno State, as well as Adamawa and Yobe States. A total of 2.47 million of the most vulnerable individuals were reached from January through December 2017 with protection interventions. The sector strengthened its operational capacity to the most vulnerable in hard-to-reach areas, especially in Bama, Banki, Gwoza, Pulka, Damasak, Dikwa, Ngala, Monguno and Damboa in Borno state, Gujba and Potiskum in Yobe state and Mubi North, Mubi South, Michika and Madagali in Adamawa state.
Protection achievements in 2017 have included: profiling, monitoring and registering 434,101 vulnerable individuals, sensitizing 297,364 on critical protection and human rights issues, including protection from sexual exploitation and mine risk education, providing 276,106 with protection-based material assistance such as solar lanterns and hygiene kits, providing 193,559 individuals with psycho-social support to promote their well-being, training 17,736 in core protection principles, and empowering 10,129 men, women, boys and girls through livelihood skills training, supplying them with start-up kits and establishing cooperative societies.
The Protection Sector significantly expanded its access to justice operations in Borno State in 2017, reaching 10,228 with interventions. Access to justice services interventions included legal representation in court, legal counselling, visits to detention facilities including police/prison visits, the inauguration of mobile courts within two IDP camps to bring justice closer to the people and the roll out of a case management system. Further, 134,923 persons were provided with legal documentation including birth certificates, statutory declarations of age and indigene letters to prevent protection risks stemming from lack of identification and as the basis documents towards receiving a national ID card.
Referral pathways were strengthened in 2017, particularly for SGBV cases, child protection cases and for access to justice, with 25,813 individual cases identified through protection monitoring referred for appropriate and specialized services. The establishment of Protection Action Groups and Protection Desks made it easier for communities to report issues and access necessary services. This entire process also focused on building consensus and getting buy in from the community.
Between January and December 2017, GBV Sub-Sector partners collectively supported 867,862 individuals (210,036 girls, 390,223 women, 108,898 boys and 158,535 men) with response and prevention services including access to specialized services for survivors. Out of which 17,423 women and girls of reproductive age were provided with dignity kits and other critical materials, 239,760 women, girls, boys and men received Psychological First Aid plus other psychosocial support services, while some 7,793 individuals were supported with case management and referrals and 15,437 mainly women and girls received a range of skills building and basic livelihood support services. The engagement with leaders, policy makers and communities on GBV protection and strengthening of community based structures was scaled up during this period. GBV partners prioritized capacity building for frontline staff and volunteers on various components of GBV and PSEA.
GBV partners expanded efforts in 2017 to increase awareness of GBV protection concerns and services among the affected communities, reaching 572,516 persons including traditional and religious leaders through sensitisations. This is especially important as displacements have further exacerbated already high rates of intimate partner violence, harmful traditional practices, child/forced marriage, among others that existed prior to the conflict. Community mobilisers organise house to house outreach and dialogues to speak about the dangers of GBV and avenues for seeking help & accessing services. While measuring the impact of behavioral change is difficult in the short run, some of the cultural leaders have become allies in the fight against child marriage. This approach has enhanced and strengthened the community-based complaints mechanisms, thereby improving reporting of protection concerns.
Child Protection actors provided psychosocial support to 424,057 children and established 206 child friendly spaces. 16,583 children were identified as unaccompanied and separated of whom 11,583 received case management support. 573 children were reunified with their families while 2,991 were placed in alternative care arrangements and received follow-up. 6,626 children and women formerly associated to armed groups, notably Boko Haram, received community reintegration services. Lastly, 110,732 children received mine risk education.