Children and youth in Botswana face the risk of a particularly insidious and destructive type of human rights violation, child sexual abuse (CSA), due to their unique socio-economic, cultural, traditional and developmental circumstances, and their physical and mental immaturity.
CSA and exploitation threatens to undermine survivors' future mental, social and physical development, and has been shown to significantly impede young girls from completing their education. When adolescent survivors of sexual violence are unassisted or unsupported by social services, there are long-term socio-economic and health-related consequences for both individuals and society at large.
The Government of Botswana is a signatory of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, in addition to a number of domestic policies and initiatives for the protection of children, including the 2009 Children's Act and a six-year (2010-2016) National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Despite these commitments to the protection of children and their rights, existing policies are not effectively implemented or advocated for, resulting in a significant gap in service provision to ensure these rights are upheld. It is in this context that the this project seeks to build and sustain the momentum already underway from Stepping Stones International's current 'Gaining Traction by Action' EU Project, and strives to increase action by lobbying and educating decision makers and the custodians of culture, through a multi-sector approach, to ensure that policies are implemented effectively to protect children.
Overall objective: To improve the response to and prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA) cases according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Botswana Children’s Act through enhanced mechanisms for quality service provision and reporting.
- to improve the implementation of the Children's Act through increased evidence based high-level social policy and cultural dialogue.
- to improve institutional capacity of service providers and Child Protection Committees to respond to child sexual abuse cases.
- to increase reporting in the community by advocating for effective implementation of the Children's Act, and raising awareness on the impact of child sexual abuse.
The project will be carried out at different levels in Bobonong, Good Hope Sub-district, Kanye and Selibe Phikwe.