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Children in Adversity E-Newsletter

Issue 5 – September 2013

NEWS OF NOTE

Find updates below on the progress the U.S. Government and its partners are making on the six objectives of the Action Plan.


  • Objective 1: Building Strong Beginnings
  • Objective 2: Put Family Care First
  • Objective 3: Protect Children from Violence, Exploitation, Abuse and Neglect
  • Objective 4: Strengthen Child Welfare and Protection Systems
  • Objective 5: Promote Evidence-Based Policies and Programs
  • Objective 6: Integrate Action Plan within U.S. Government Departments and Agencies

SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS



We recently released our sixth annual Report to Congress on Public Law 109-95 entitled From Strong Beginnings to Youth Resilience: Pathways Out of Adversity [PDF, 3.73MB]. This report describes the objectives of the U.S. Government Action Plan and how it will be implemented.

NEW AND IMPROVED WEBSITE

Don't forget to check out our brand new Children in Adversity website, which provides an overview of the U.S. Government's efforts to implement the Action Plan. It also includes links to U.S. Government agency- and department-specific implementation plans, which specify how each entity included in the Action Plan will work to achieve its objectives. The website also features a global profile containing up-to-date data currently available to quantify various categories of children in adversity.

SENATE RESOLUTION 1.90 ON THE U.S. GOVERNMENT ACTION PLAN ON CHILDREN IN ADVERSITY

JUNE 27, 2013

This Senate resolution calls for (1) an action plan to address the needs of children living in adversity that is sanctioned by the highest level of U.S. Government; and (2) federal funding that currently goes toward projects and research benefiting children in low- and middle-income countries to be coordinated among recipient federal agencies to promote permanent family care for the most vulnerable children, reduce the number of children who experience violence or exploitation and eliminate duplication and contradictory approaches within the U.S. Government.

INVESTING IN CHILDREN GLOBALLY



Why are leading scientists interested in investing in young children globally? In a new 4-minute video from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, international experts in education, nutrition, psychology, health and economics explain what we know about child development, and why it is critical to make integrated investments in young children throughout the world.

This video is the product of a planning meeting held in March 2013 to explore the need for a new Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally at the Institute of Medicine. At the meeting, researchers, policymakers and practitioners examined the global research on the period from birth to age 8, which is a critical time for shaping children's developmental trajectories. They discussed the state of the research, as well as challenges and opportunities for translating research into programs and policies. Due to clear interest in establishing this forum, efforts are under way to identify members and launch the forum before the end of 2013.

NEW PUBLICATION ON PREVENTING VIOLENCE



Recently released publication, Preventing violence: evaluating outcomes of parenting programmes [PDF, 1.2MB] seeks to increase understanding of the need for, and the process of, conducting outcome evaluations of parenting programs in low- and middle-income countries. The result of a collaboration between the University of Cape Town, WHO, UNICEF, and the WHO-led Violence Prevention Alliance, the guidance is aimed at policy-makers; program planners and developers; high-level practitioners in government ministries; representatives of nongovernmental and community-based organizations; and donors working in the area of violence prevention. The publication focuses on parenting programs to prevent child maltreatment and other forms of violence later in life such as youth and intimate partner violence.

CHILD MARRIAGE PREVENTION IN INDIA

On July 24, senior representatives from ICRW's IMPACCT study, a research project on child marriage prevention in India supported by USAID's Office of Population & Reproductive Health, presented their innovative evaluation methodology of a government-run conditional cash transfer program (CCT) to delay child marriage in Haryana, India. This is the first evaluation of a large-scale CCT program to delay child marriage in India; the IMPACCT project will hold a larger dissemination of initial study results in December 2013 to inform future government approaches to address child marriage.

  • Learn more about the IMPACCT study.

USAID, FORD FOUNDATION AND THE SUMMIT FOUNDATION ADDRESS CHILD MARRIAGE, GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND ADOLESCENT HEALTH

On July 25, representatives from the Ford Foundation and the Summit Foundation met with gender advisors and USAID's GENDEV Office to discuss current research and programs addressing child marriage, gender-based violence and adolescent health. Details of current and new USAID programs in Latin America and Afghanistan were shared to inform the Ford Foundations's research. This meeting clarified donor priorities for investments in child marriage prevention, and set the stage for continued dialogue between USAID and key private donors working in this arena.

IMPROVING SAFETY, WELL-BEING AND DEVELOPMENT OF HIGHLY VULNERABLE CHILDREN

On July 1, the Advancing Partners and Communities (APC) project issued a request for applications (RFA) on behalf of USAID's Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) for projects to improve the safety, well-being and development of highly vulnerable children.

It is anticipated that three awards of up to $4.4 million each, to be implemented over a 3-year and 6-month period, will be awarded through this solicitation. The aim of the solicitation is to strengthen national child protection systems to prevent unnecessary family separation and enable children outside of families to be placed in appropriate family care. This RFA prioritizesapplications targeting the countries of Uganda, Moldova, Burundi and Mozambique. Subject to specific commitments by the national government concerned, applications from other countries may also be considered. It is anticipated that the projects funded through this RFA will addressObjective 2: Putting Family Care First of the Action Plan on Children in Adversity.

ADDITIONAL GRANTS

DCOF has made grants to the UNICEF offices in Cambodia and Burundi for projects that will also address Objective 2 of the Action Plan. In Cambodia, a total of $900,000 has been committed for the period March 2013 – December 2015, for a project to strengthen child protection systems. Implemented in collaboration with relevant government ministries and 12 NGOs in 5 provinces, the project aims to strengthen family care for least 8,000 children at risk of violence or family separation. At least 700 children (with particular attention to children under the age of 3) are to be integrated into family-based care. In Burundi, the project aims to enable 2,500 children to live in a protective environment, including 500 children currently living in institutions who will benefit from durable and age-appropriate alternative care. A total of $711,044 has been committed for the period.

U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT UPDATES LIST OF PRODUCTS MADE BY FORCED OR INDENTURED CHILD LABOR

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) announced a revised List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor, adding six new products from five countries. Federal contractors supplying products on the list must certify that the goods were not produced by forced or indentured child labor in accordance with Executive Order 13126.

The Departments of Labor, State and Homeland Security published a Federal Register notice updating the list, which now includes cattle from South Sudan, dried fish from Bangladesh, fish from Ghana, garments from Vietnam and gold and wolframite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Public comments were solicited, received and considered in the agencies’ final determination.

ILAB published the first list in 2001 and revisions each year from 2010 to 2012. The complete Executive Order 13126 page contains revisions to the list, a bibliography of sources cited, frequently asked questions, procedural guidelines and procurement compliance information.

Information about ILAB and its program activities is also available. The notice was published in the July 23, 2013, Federal Register.

REACHING CHILDREN IN SYRIA

According to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 46 percent of the 4.25 million displaced Syrians are children while the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees indicates that children constitute more than 1 million of those who have sought refuge outside Syria.

U.S. humanitarian programs seek to provide a special focus on reaching the most vulnerable populations—including women, children, persons with disabilities, and the older people—that often face extraordinary levels of violence and abuse. In general, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) response efforts include direct programming as well as protection and gender mainstreaming. USAID/OFDA direct programming includes medical support, child friendly spaces, trainings and additional assistance. (See below for a list of USAID/OFDA programs that support women and children.) Mainstreaming means ensuring that all USAID/OFDA partners identify and address protection risks within their programs, regardless of sector, to ensure safe and equitable access to assistance and services. USAID/OFDA requires this in all NGO programs, and we encourage UN partners to uphold these standards through their programming and operational approaches.

  • Development of child friendly spaces to provide psychosocial support and other protection services to children in Syria.
  • Provision of rent assistance for vulnerable women-headed households who would have otherwise sheltered with their children in crowded communal shelters or open spaces.
  • Safe Healing and Learning Space (SHLS) protection programs in IDP settlements.
  • A Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) for vulnerable adolescents in the camps
  • Educational and psychosocial support to children residing in communal shelters
  • Increasing access to reproductive health services for women and providing clinical care in response to sexual violence.

DEMOGRAPHIC AND HEALTH SURVEYS - CHILD LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

The USAID Center of Excellence on Children in Adversity (CECA), in consultation with UNICEF and the Better Care Network, has been exploring the extent to which living arrangements can be linked to various issues of childhood adversity in the consistently collected Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).Although limitations exist with the information collected, the preliminary analysis suggests that children living without biological parents are more likely to be stunted and have never attended school than other children (with biological parents) in the same household.CECA is currently analyzing DHS data across other countries with recent DHS reports to determine if the pattern holds.Below are the initial findings.

The percentages below are weighted to produce unbiased national-level estimates for children in households.

CAMBODIA - 2010 DHS

  • 9.5 percent of children live in households without their biological parents.
  • For mixed households (those containing children living both with and without biological parents):
    • 44.4 percent of children age 0 to 4 without biological parents in the households are stunted.
    • 24.4 percent of children age 0 to 4 with biological parents in the households are stunted.
    • 15.7 percent of children age 7 to 14 without biological parents in the households have never attended school.
    • 8.0 percent of children age 7 to 14 with biological parents in the households have never attended school.
MOZAMBIQUE - 2011 DHS

  • 18.1 percent of children live in households without their biological parents.
  • For mixed households (those containing children living both with and without biological parents):
    • 39.2 percent of children age 0 to 4 without biological parents in the households are stunted.
    • 31.6 percent of children age 0 to 4 with biological parents in the households are stunted.
    • 25.6 percent of children age 7 to 14 without biological parents in the households have never attended school.
    • 17.1 percent of children age 7 to 14 with biological parents in the households have never attended school.
RWANDA - 2010

  • 14.1 percent of children live in households without their biological parents.
  • For mixed households (those containing children living both with and without biological parents):
    • 40.5 percent of children age 0 to 4 without biological parents in the households are stunted.
    • 27.6 percent of children age 0 to 4 with biological parents in the households are stunted.
    • 17.2 percent of children age 7 to 14 without biological parents in the households have never attended school.
    • 7.2 percent of children age 7 to 14 with biological parents in the households have never attended school.
For more information, please contact Rick Rinehart at rrinehart@usaid.gov.

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SOLICITATIONS

COMBATING EXPLOITIVE CHILD LABOR IN MOROCCO

Status: Open Solicitation for Cooperative Agreement Applications (SCA 13-10).

Purpose: To reduce exploitive child labor and assist youth of legal working age (15 to 18) in rural and peri-urban areas of Morocco to secure decent work. Household members (age 18 and older) of beneficiary children and youth will also be provided with opportunities for improved livelihoods. The project will also improve the capacity of Morocco’s labor inspectorate to monitor and enforce labor laws in rural agricultural areas where many children and youth work, and strengthen the ability of civil society organizations to reduce child labor through service provision and advocacy.

Amount: Up to $5 million.

Important Dates: Technical Question Submissions: Within 30 days of posted date. Web Chat: Within 30 days of posted date. Application Deadline: October 1, 2013.

AFRICAN YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

Status: Open Solicitation for Cooperative Agreement Applications (SCA 13-07)

Purpose: To address exploitative child labor among youth (age 15 to 18) by helping them develop marketable skills to secure decent work and serve as civic leaders in their communities. The project will target vulnerable youth ages 15 to 18, promoting education and vocational training and decent work opportunities for those of appropriate work age. The project will also seek to enhance livelihoods for youth and their households, support their civic engagement and encourage them to take on leadership roles within their communities.

Amount: Up to $3 million.

Important Dates: Technical Question Submissions: Within 30 days of posted date (View responses - PDF, 149KB). Web Chat: Within 30 days of posted date (View transcript). Application Deadline: October 1, 2013.

EVENTS

PALTECH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

The Children’s Bureau’s Office on Child Abuse and Neglect is pleased to announce the 19th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, which will be held April 29–May 2, 2014, in New Orleans, LA. The conference theme is “Making Meaningful Connections.” More than 3,000 in-person and virtual participants will gather for a 2-and-a-half day series of knowledge- and skill-building sessions, building powerful collaborative networks and contributing to “lessons learned” that profoundly shape public policy, research and practice in child maltreatment and child welfare.

Where: New Orleans, LA
When: April 29 - May 2, 2014
Details: View the Paltech website for more information.

RELAF SEMINAR - 2013

Strengthening the advances – Creating tools for the accomplishment of the rights to live in a family and in a community.
Relaf Seminar 2013 is an opportunity to meet, learn and exchange. The 2007 and 2009 seminars laid the conceptual foundations for the work with children and their families. Based on the advances achieved thanks to the previous seminars, the coming meeting is expected to give continuity to the work that governments and social organizations have been carrying out in order to make the necessary changes to policies and practices to adjust them to the Human Rights' standards.

Where: Guanajuato, Mexico
When: October 3-4, 2013
Hosted by: Red Latinoamericana de Acogimiento Familiar – Relaf
Details: View the RELAF website to learn more.

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