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A Better Way to Protect ALL Children: The Theory and Practice of Child Protection Systems, Conference Report

In November 2012, more than 130 policymakers, academics, practitioners and other experts committed to CP systems and coming from 50 countries met in New Delhi over four days for a major conference entitled “A Better Way to Protect ALL Children: The Theory and Practice of Child Protection Systems.” This conference was co-hosted by four organisations – UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children and World Vision. Read conference report here.

The report from the conference encapsulates the substantive content of the presentations and related discussion; provides an analysis and documents the journey; and suggest an agenda, or at least direction, for future work on CP systems.  

The conference participants discussed the definition and boundaries of a child protection system and a typology was proposed to facilitate discussion about the objectives and performance of such systems and inform the choices made about the way in which a particular system will develop. Intended to be applicable globally, it includes less formal systems as well as more formal and statutory systems, recognizes a diversity of approaches or orientations used by these systems towards the child in her/his family and community, and operates in the overall socio-economic and political developments of a particular country.

The development of child protection systems across regions was explored, with learning from High Income, Middle and Low Income countries presented through country case studies. Discussion highlighted how regional and country-specific values regarding children, families and the relationship between the State and individuals; the integrity of institutions; and the broader political and economic situation all drive and shape CP systems. The importance of ‘system thinking’ to guide child protection system strengthening was highlighted in particular, providing a more multidimensional and complex concept of CP systems and their many elements, one that is based a good understanding of how systems change happens.

Many of the presentations addressed the importance of intervening early in the life of the child through the provision of services and support to the child and his/her family, as well as of the need to make prevention a priority. Five round-table sessions explored ways in which specific groups of children with particular needs may be addressed within a systems framework, including one on children without parental care.  - Better Care Network News Item

Full documentation from the conference, including all the presentations and papers are available at:


Tags: conference proceesdings, child protection systems, theory and practice of child protection systems, conference 2012
Published Oct. 15, 2013 1:57 PM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2013 1:57 PM