The Landscape and Referral pilot project, a project with the aim of coordinating the work done by different actors in the fight against child labour, has taken a major step forward with a workshop focusing on pooling activities, held from 18 – 20 October, in Daloa, Côte d'Ivoire.
During the workshop, organized to strengthen case referral and the provision of support to victims of the worst forms of child labour and all forms of child abuse in the Haut-Sassandra region, the Child Protection Directorate (DPE) of the Ministry of Women, Family and Children, and a number of local and national structures and organisations, worked together on a number of themes, including eligibility criteria for case management by structure, and the role of the Child Protection Committees. During the meeting, ICI presented an interactive, electronic map presenting the child protection services that are offered by state structures, and international and local organisations, in 21 regions of the cocoa zone with a focus on the Haut-Sassandra region (in particular the departments of Daloa, Vavoua, Issia and Zoukougbeu).
According to ICI's Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Mr. Maxime Lorou Bi, any agent intervening in the framework of the project can see who is doing what in terms of child protection. By implementing this electronic map, which uses an application called cartoIDE, ICI aims to:
- collect data on all the interventions from child protection structures over the last 3 years,
- identify the logistical and human resources of these different structures in order to guage their capacity,
- analyse any gaps between the human, material and logistical resources of these structures and the case management work that should be done by them, and
- evaluate the true capacity of the child protection structures through a tool.
In addition to the presentation of the tool, the Directors of the socio-educational complexes, the representatives of the chocolate industry based in the Haut-Sassandra, the Presidents of the Child Protection Committees and ICI were trained on several topics such as the role and place of the Child Protection Committees, the guiding principles of case management, and the eligibility criteria for case management by structure. As the Director of the DPE, Ms Diarra Mariam, said, "this workshop was very welcome", adding that "often, in the fight against child labour, the actors involved work in isolation". This, she underlined, means that the desired impact is often not achieved. She was therefore pleased with this desire for synergy. She went on to say that: "The mechanism we are discussing here today will be cited as a model, as good practice to improve the framework that has been put in place to effectively fight against child labour in cocoa farming.”
Mr N'Guessan Habib Eric, Head of Services at the DPE and one of the trainers, explained that the training was organised around the referral mechanism, as "gaps were noted concerning the state and private sector". That is why, he said, "we focused on how to refer cases. From now on, everyone knows who to contact and how to contact a third party so that the child, who is at the centre of all actions, can have all the necessary support to evolve.”
The Landscape and Referral project is an innovative project implemented in the Haut-Sassandra by ICI. It aims to strengthen functional cooperation between industry, civil society and government actors, in order to ensure a more protective environment for children and to increase the effectiveness of actions to fight against child labour. It was officially launched and presented on May 24 at the prefecture of Daloa to administrative authorities, focal points of the project and local NGOs.