Namibia has become the world’s 32nd Pathfinding Country to commit to ending violence against children. This landmark announcement marks nine Pathfinding Countries in Africa, and highlights the ongoing spread of the Pathfinding initiative’s reach across the world.
“Namibia’s participation in this initiative will go a long way in strengthening our government’s long-standing commitment of ensuring our children are – and feel – safe,” said Hon. Doreen Sioka, the Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.
Once a country becomes Pathfinding, they are expected to complete six milestones to strengthen the national structures to end violence against children. These milestones include publicly committing to comprehensive action to end all forms of violence against children; appointing a senior government focal point to lead the in-country process; convening and supporting a multi-stakeholder group; collecting and analysing data on violence against children; developing an evidence-based, costed national action plan that sets commitments for three to five years, along with a related resource mobilisation plan; and consulting with children to ensure partnership standards on child participation are upheld. With these milestones in place, countries will have the established structures necessary to end violence against children, once and for all.
This announcement comes after Namibia has implemented several key policies to end violence against children, including the passage of the Child Care and Protection Act, which sets out principles relating to the care and protection of children in the country. In addition, Namibia has established an Inter-Ministerial Committee that is responsible for monitoring the implementation of child protection interventions, ensuring accountability on the national level. This Committee is currently leading a Violence Against Children Survey (VACS), while also developing a Data-to-Action Plan on ending violence and expanding that Plan into a five-year road map.
Namibia has also engaged with the End Violence Partnership in other ways: UNICEF Namibia was one of End Violence’s first Safe Online grantees. Through a three-year project, UNICEF established an online reporting portal to help the public report cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Our participation in the Pathfinding initiative will afford us the opportunity to benchmark our interventions and adopt best practice models in our efforts to end violence against children,” said Minister Sioka.
Learn more about ending violence against children in Namibia.