Australian Volunteers International

Kathmandu. Photo credit Teagan Glenane and Australian Volunteers Program

March 7, 2024

Strengthening Child Protection in Nepal and beyond

The Australian Volunteers Program worked in partnership with the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) Nepal to support the development of CECI Nepal’s first Child Protection Policy.

CECI Nepal – Photo credit: Robert Madsen

CECI is an international non-government organisation that combats poverty, exclusion and inequality through sustainable development projects in Africa, Asia and the Americas. CECI Nepal was established over 30 years ago and works with diverse partners including government bodies, community-based organisations, NGOs, and the private sector. In alignment with AVI and the Australian Volunteers Program, CECI has a strong commitment to supporting organisations through volunteer placements.

CECI Nepal has worked in partnership with the Australian Volunteers Program’s team in Nepal for a number of years, including sharing an office space. In December 2022, the program’s Nepal team and Child Protection and Safeguarding Advisor were invited to host a workshop in Kathmandu for CECI Nepal staff on the topic of child protection.

The workshop helped identify risks to children in Nepal, and ways in which CECI Nepal could improve child safeguarding and advance the rights of children. The conversation raised a number of important issues and resulted in a decision to develop CECI Nepal’s first country program Child Protection Policy. The new policy has been finalised and applies to all staff, national and international volunteers, and CECI Nepal board members. The policy showcases principles and localised practices to support the protection and rights of Nepal’s children and underscores CECI’s commitment to zero tolerance against child abuse, harm or exploitation.

Following the adoption of the Nepalese policy, CECI’s global office in Montreal has expressed an interest in implementing the newly developed policy across its global program which operates in 18 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. This unique outcome is a testament to the commitment and passion of CECI Nepal staff and shows how local initiative and partnership can lead to better protection for children on an international scale.

“We can’t change the world, but we can be a role model regarding child protection policy”. CECI Nepal Staff member and workshop participant

CECI Nepal – Photo credit: Robert Madsen