Child Protection

The protection of children from all forms of violence is at the heart of our all our work. This includes extensive awareness raising and the strengthening the formal and informal child protection networks at all levels and ensuring the availability care, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). We work with communities to help them understand and support girls’ rights and encourage them to reject the harmful practices, particularly Child and Early Forced Marriage and Unions (CEFMU), which affects nearly half of children in Mozambique.

Save the Children’s Steps to Protect case management approach is a foundation of our work. It involves training case workers to support children at risk or facing violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect, helping them to coordinate referrals and provide direct psychoeducation, and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). Their work includes family tracing and reunification, particularly in emergency situations. We strengthen the coordination between formal and informal systems, including supporting community child protection committees (CCPCs) to identify, refer, prevent, and respond to cases of violence against children in partnership with district reference groups. We facilitate access to child-friendly reporting mechanisms such as Linha Fala Crianca, which Save the Children co-founded in 2009, and ensure that protection services are inclusive of children with disabilities. We also support the training of the district government reference services so that their staff can respond to cases sensitively and safely, while holding perpetrators to account.

With teachers and students, we use a psychosocial approach that aims to support healing through education and art (HEART), and expressive, descriptive and communicative activities which are fully inclusive and implemented in and outside school. We also use TeamUp, which is a body movement approach that helps crisis-affected children recover from distressful experiences through their engagement in structured, physical activities.

We are actively engaged in the activities and discussions around child rights violations related to the armed conflict in northern Mozambique, and advocate for the activation of a formal Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) to ensure official reporting of grave violations.

Save the Children campaigned for changes in the national legislation to make child marriage illegal (signed into law in October, 2019) and we continue to advocate for the eradication of CEFMU. We support the government to reinforce the implementation of the law at provincial, district and community levels, and raise awareness about the law in communities, particularly among parents and caregivers. We facilitate girls’ access to protection and care services (education, sexual and reproductive health, legal and social protection, amongst others), and aim to address the root causes of child marriages including reforming the harmful gender norms perpetuated in communities and during initiation rites. We amplify the voices and efforts of children, especially girls, in championing their rights and rejecting the practice of child marriage.