Mātua, E amata ia oe Faata'ita'iga Lelei. . .

Training on Child Sensitive Social Protection in Samoa

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20th June – 22nd June 2023

Social Protection is a universal human right identified as a need for all countries in their journey to reduce and minimize poverty, inequality, vulnerability and exclusion of all vulnerable and minority groups including children.

Targeting the MWCSD’s Child Protection Unit and the members of the CRC Partnership Committee the training purpose is to draw on the stakeholder’s experience and expectations on the social protection provisions in Samoa. The training is also an opportunity for the trainers and participants to develop an in-depth understanding on the topic and towards working together in stimulating children into their full potential.

In terms of benefits and wellbeing of children; the training also aims on reviewing how Samoa is delivering child sensitive social protection measures, recognise the successes and build on them and identify specific gaps and collectively focus on the designing interventions to robustly address them in the short and long term. Nevertheless, it is to look at different aspects where social protection system can be strengthened and sustained in Samoa.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Dr. Mema Motusaga delivered the keynote address. Dr Motusaga alluded to the importance of prioritising child sensitive social protection measures and reminded the participants that as poverty and deprivation in childhood can have long term consequences; training for child sensitive social protection hopes for social protection system to be strengthened and sustained. This will assist with breaking the cycle of poverty by ensuring that children of Samoa have access to a full range of services and basic necessities, regardless of poverty status.

It is with great hope that after the three-day training the MWCSD staff who will attend as well as the CRC Members will gain an understanding and utilise it to secure basic income and reduces risks for children. Not only that but most importantly the Ministry hopes that this training will equip the participants with the skills and knowledge to ensure compulsory consideration of the voices and views of children and their caregivers into all the decision making processes with particularly matters pertaining children.

The Ministry acknowledges the continuous financial and technical support and assistance of the UNICEF office towards the development of the children of Samoa.

Learnings from Social Protection Training:

Day 1:

The design of the social protection system and considerations is very important

Social Protection can impact the economy and the lives of community.

  • It can impact poverty & inequality – depending on the benefit level as well as political will
  • Impact children’s nutrition and education
  • Impacts fertility
  • Women empowerment
  • Reduce child marriage
  • Fosters stability and inclusion

Day 2:

Social protection defines rights that people have access to and the right to be helped when there is a problem.

Child Sensitive Social Protection. How can we make social protection more child sensitive?

Key principles to make social protection ‘child sensitive’ includes:

  • Avoiding adverse impact on children
  • Intervening as early as possible when children are at risk
  • Addressing age specific vulnerabilities through a life-cycle approach.
  • Making ad-hoc provisions for children with specific vulnerabilities or belonging to a specific group
  • Taking into account the mechanisms of intra-household dynamics
  • Promoting legislative framework to protect children.