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Children's involvement in CLTS- what about child protection?

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After all the country presentations of yesterday and the gallery walks, today is the day to go into further discussions on the challenges we run into in the CLTS program. This was done in focus group discussions. Issues that were discussed are:

  • ODF Sustainability
  • Sanitation Marketing
  • Involvement of children/SLTS
  • Scaling up of CLTS
  • Natural Leaders

Interesting for me to hear about the child protection structures that are in place when children are involved in for example the shaming and blaming. What happens to a child when it hands out a red card to a drunken man defecating in the open and the man hits the child? These are indeed important issues to think about. It might be fun and very successful to have children handing out red cards or blowing whistles when they see someone open defecating, but there might be some risks there. These risks can be mitigated by for instance:

  • Involvement of the community escalation mechanism through community leaders. They are in place to tackle issues like child abuse, child protection (Ethiopia).
  • Community Prevention and Crime Committee who are already in place. They are a government body at the grass roots. This is where complaints are given and this committee handles upon that (Zambia).
  • The role of the chiefs during in the initial stage of triggering. During the triggering they address the issue of child participation, but the risk of child abuse and protection (Sierra Leone).

Something to chew a bit more on I think…..

Sharon Roose, WASH Advisor, Plan Netherlands

Date: 28 February 2012