UNFPA/Protection Cluster Gender-based Violence and Child Protection Field Cooperation Framework 2021 (Excerpts)

Arabic: العربية

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Occupied Palestinian territory

The cooperation between GBV and Child Protection in the Occupied Palestinian territory is focused on addressing child marriage. Initially, UNFPA and UNICEF pursued separate plans, but to avoid duplication and maximize the outcome, the two coordination mechanisms agreed to work together to jointly develop a child marriage strategy. The plan was finalized in 2020. A task force was set up to oversee the implementation of the strategy, which due to COVID restrictions needed to restart in February 2021 with the development of new ToRs23. The development process has been highly consultative, aimed to gain the support from a wide range of stakeholders, including government, child protection and GBV CSOs as well as other UN agencies.

Cooperation highlights

The collaborative work of the taskforce aims to streamline the work on prevention and response across the participating organisations as well as other coordination groups and coalitions. The child marriage taskforce begun by undertaking a comprehensive mapping of GBV and Child Protection AoR members’ work. This has contributed to building a better understanding of where programming initiatives exist and how they are implemented. Based on the mapping, the task force has prioritized strengthening advocacy efforts and to speak with one voice in line with the taskforce priorities.

It is too early to determine the impact of the task force on child survivors. However, in the longer-term perspective the advocacy work will contribute to closing the legal loopholes that are used for the child marriage practice. The GBV and Child Protection actors predict that the combined legal advocacy and advocacy targeting decision-makers, including religious leaders, will have a direct impact on girls’ lives especially.

The Coordinators also see that by cooperating they can better utilize the strategic advantages that are contributed by UNFPA and UNICEF’s different positions. This includes entry points for working with government ministries, the introduction of child protection and GBV case management standard operating procedures across GBV and Child Protection services and better access to education actors.

There is a virtuous circle of positive impact generated from the collaboration on child marriage. It has given the Coordinators a structure where they exchange information on other AoR program matters. The collegial spirit of cooperation has expanded to other clusters too and influences how issues are addressed.

Challenges

There is a need to have a stronger and more consistent working relationship with the relevant government ministries. Currently it is based on an individual’s commitment which is not a solid foundation for ensuring commitment and consistency over time. The different legal frameworks that are concurrently working in Gaza and on the West Bank complicate the work on child marriage prevention. It means that the workforce will need to develop separate strategies for engaging stakeholders in each location. The chronic lack of funding and de-prioritizing of coordination is affecting all of the clusters. There is a need for a long-term approach that properly values the need for coordination.

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23 See shared drive https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h55fqJjg-5-NSdNymkHVqaUhvVYglW4s/view?usp=sharing


2022-01-13T15:50:10-05:00

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