PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE Programme
Initiated and supported by OAK Foundation
The work of the Child Abuse Programme is guided by six interrelated and mutually reinforcing principles.
The foundational principle is child rights-based. All interventions should reflect the fact that children have rights and that states and civil society, including families, have obligations to respect and facilitate their realisation. These rights are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. Children’s agency and competency to participate actively in realising these rights is recognised but varies with age and stage of development.
Child rights-based principle is a stand alone principle and one that is achieved through the integration and operation of five other core principles:
Child participation – Meaningful involvement of children in all decisions that affect their lives is important. This includes promoting greater respect for children and their inclusion in decision-making within their families and communities. Children’s capacities to participate and contribute need to be strengthened, and environments that encourage and support children in applying those capacities, created. The nature and degree of children’s participation depends on their evolving capacity.
Non‐discrimination – The projects must be implemented in a way that does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion or other status of the child or his/her parents or guardians. Any affirmative action targeting a specific group should be designed to promote equality and inclusion.
Best interests – In all decisions impacting children, their best interests should be of a primary consideration. This applies at two levels: decisions and actions affecting an individual child should reflect his/her unique circumstances; all actions and decisions – legislative, administrative or programmatic – that children must consider their collective interests.
Building on strengths – Children, families and communities have strengths and capacities that should inform and orient interventions. An understanding of their social context and positive traditional practices may provide effective, sustainable options and opportunities for protecting children.
Do no harm – Any kind of work may have unintended and unexpected results which could be positive or negative. Monitoring and evaluation should be designed to identify both, and support the revision or reorientation of interventions if indicated.