From January through November, the Protection Sector has reached 2.5 million persons with protection interventions, including 186,320 provided with protection-based material assistance such as solar lanterns and hygiene kits, 37,816 provided with access to justice and 21,884 cases referred for specialized and targeted services. In October and November, the Sector provided vulnerable IDPs with legal documents, enabling 102,801 IDPs and IDP returnees to receive birth certificates in Damasak, Banki, Bama, Ngala and Monguno LGAs and 20,200 to receive indigene certificates in Jere and Maiduguri LGAs, as well as 1,414 IDPs in Maiduguri camps to enroll to be able to obtain the national identify card. Protection partners sensitized 15,215 persons in November on social cohesion principles, camp complaint mechanisms, rights to education, protection from domestic violence and other protection messaging. PSWG members further conducted capacity building training for humanitarian staff members in areas recently recaptured by the Government on key protection principles, including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), as well as carried out a timely rapid assessment mission in Bama to monitor and report on alleged human rights violations including SEA by humanitarian actors.
In November, the Child Protection sub-sector provided psycho-social support (PSS) to close to 41,300 children and reunified 77 separated or unaccompanied minors with their caregivers. Integrated case management services were provided to about 1,100 children formerly associated with armed groups and 600 sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) survivors. Given the overwhelming needs and the complexity of the situation in Rann, international agencies involved in child protection have been appealed to scale up in the area, to bridge gaps (including tailored support to adolescent girls) and provide a comprehensive package of services. In the meantime, the sub-sector carried out a monitoring visit to provide technical guidance to the national and only organisation on the ground providing protection services to children in Rann. Given the high number of displacements reported in Magumeri, Nganzai and Gubio, where there is currently no child protection partner presence, the sub-sector engaged two partners to carry out an assessment in order to rapidly plan a response.
In November, GBV Protection partners reached over 66,400 persons (27,000 women, 15,400 girls, 13,700 men and 10,200 boys) with various interventions, including psychological first aid PSS (9,500 people) and medical services (1,700 people) and some other specialised services through case management and referrals (440 people). Overall, since January to November 2017, about 797,650 received GBV assistance, i.e., 80 per cent of the sub-sector’s target for 2017. The month was also marked by the annual ‘16 days of activism against GBV’ campaign, during which organisations held a series of activities (policy dialogues with leaders, youth debates, public processions, town hall meetings, radio talk shows, etc.).
The conflict has had unprecedented negative impact on women, girls and boys. Grave violations of human rights are ongoing, requiring a scaling up of robust protection mechanisms. Existing unmet protection needs are compounded by critical additional needs in areas recently recaptured by the Government. Access to quality, multi-sectoral SGBV prevention and response services as well as strengthened reintegration programmes for women and girls including those formerly abducted by Boko Harm are essential. Also, there is need to support child protection, education and specific programmes for de-radicalization particularly targeting youth who have been used by armed groups.
Funding constraints remain a challenge for agencies that need to scale up and expand coverage. Further, the limited capacity of partners to respond in a timely and effective manner may impede upon life-saving interventions.
Looking ahead and bridging the gaps
The Protection Sector is supporting the finalization of the Centrality of Protection strategy, advocating for adequate resources to be allocated for its implementation. The Sector is further focusing upon scaling up its operational footprint in areas recently recaptured by the Government, including in Adamawa and Yobe States, to enhance its ability to effectively monitor, refer and respond to violations given the scale of the needs.
The Child Protection sub-sector finalised the update of the referral pathways for Borno State and will ensure that minimum requirements (code of conduct, safe reporting mechanism for sexual exploitation and abuse cases, feedback mechanism) are endorsed by all Child Protection actors. Additionally, the sub-sector is working on reviewing its monitoring and data collection tools to include additional age breakdowns, key quality requirements and new programmatic components.
On GBV Protection, the sub-sector continues to work closely with all sectors of the response to ensure that the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s GBV guidelines are implemented.