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CDP, UNICEF develop child protection toolkit for LGUs

Together with United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) is leading the development of a resource toolkit for "Mainstreaming Child Protection and Participation in Local Government" through a three-day writeshop being conducted at Brentwood Suites, Quezon City which started February 15. The development of a resource toolkit is expected to assist the local government units (LGUs) in improving their preparedness and response planning in the areas of children’s health, including nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, and safety during emergencies.

Ms. Fatima Gay Molina, a CDP senior research associate who's part of the team that is currently facilitating the writeshop in the said toolkit creation, stressed the weight of such an undertaking: the main challenge for the concerned stakeholders is the absence of a text that consolidates all the existing tools and guidelines to assist LGUs in fostering child-centered local development planning.

In the activity, speakers from CDP and UNICEF talked at length about the children's situation in the Philippines; children and disasters in the education sector; child protection in emergencies; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); health and nutrition; and local government planning. Also in attendance are UNICEF's civil society organization (CSO) partners implementing child-centered disaster risk reduction and management (CCDRRM) in various parts of Luzon and Visayas. They are expected to level off on the rationale for mainstreaming child protection and participation in local government plans and collectively develop policy frameworks for each sector for the resource toolkit based on their experiences in the communities that they work with. They will also showcase their good practices that promote child protection and participation in the context of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. But most important of all, they will identify the toolkit's module contents.

The Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CDRC), Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services (CORDIS), Philippine Geographical Society (PGS), and TABI- Masbate compose the CSO partners present in the activity from Luzon; while the University of the Philippines Visayas Foundation, Inc. and a people's organization from Eastern Samar make up the delegation from Visayas. Partner LGUs of CDP and these CSOs have yet to integrate children’s concerns in-depth in their plans.

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