Protecting children rights in Botswana
The socio-economic and cultural context and traditions in Botswana put children and youth at risk of human rights violations, such as child sexual abuse (CSA) and exploitation. They’re particularly vulnerable to such risks given their physical and mental immaturity.
CSA and exploitation survivors who don’t benefit from adapted assistance usually end up suffering from long-term socio-economic and health-related consequences, and their mental and physical development can be negatively affected. This can have consequences for society at large.
Despite Botswana’s international commitments and domestic efforts to better protect children and their rights, significant gaps still exist in terms of service provision, to ensure these rights are upheld.
To respond to these remaining gaps, Stepping Stones International (SSI) launched the EU-funded ‘It is our responsibility’ (‘Ke Boikarabelo Jwa Rona’) project in 2015, as a follow-up of one of their previous project ‘Gaining traction by action’, which started in 2013 and also benefitted from EU fun
Botswana signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child and domestic policies and initiatives have been taken to better protect children, including the 2009 Children’s Act and National plan of action for orphans and vulnerable children. However, the quality of services provided to protect children rights still needs to be improved.
The project aims at building on the momentum created by the previous ‘Gaining traction by action’ project and introducing mechanisms to improve the quality of these services and allow better reporting, notably by reinforcing:
the implementation of the Children’s Act through increased evidence-based high-level social policy and cultural dialogue
the institutional capacity of service providers and child protection committees to respond to CSA cases
advocacy and awareness-raising measures on the impact of CSA and the importance of the Children’s Act
The project was carried out at different levels in Bobonong, Good Hope sub-district, Kanye and Selibe Phikwe.