Organiser: The Federal Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, the Ethiopian Development Research Institute’s Ethiopian Centre for Child Research, Oak Foundation, University College London, Young Lives and GAGE
On 18–19 September, the Federal Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, the Ethiopian Development Research Institute’s Ethiopian Centre for Child Research, Oak Foundation, University College London, Young Lives and GAGE co-hosted a workshop on ‘Children and youth facing violence in Africa’, in Addis, Ethiopia. The conference was opened by Her Excellency Alemitu Omodi, State Minister for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ethiopia; Nyaradzavi Gumbonzvanda, the African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage and GAGE IAG member; and Dr Assefa Bequele, the Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum. Together, they outlined the need and demand for evidence on violence affecting children, adolescents and youth across the continent to inform policy, practice and programming.
Over the course of the two-day conference, 30 research papers were presented, sharing findings from 12 African countries (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia), including findings from the GAGE formative research in Rwanda and baseline research in Ethiopia on bodily integrity and freedom from violence. Policy reflections were then shared by Karin Heissler, Chief of Child Protection at UNICEF Ethiopia; Doris Roos, Coordinator for the African Partnership to End Violence Against Children; and Yitayew Alemayehu, Center for Human Rights at Addis Ababa University.
The main findings, policy implications and recommendations stemming from the conference were summarised and presented to the Child Research and Practice Forum at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in Ethiopia, for further reflection. The main findings centred on to what extent structural factors, including inequality, gender relations, disability social norms, poverty and conflict influence and exacerbate violence against children, adolescents and youth. This is in addition to what we know about the key actors, including perpetrators, caregivers, survivors and young people at risk. Finally, the findings include what we know about the effectiveness of interventions, including good practice programming, policy reform, legal reform, advocacy, policy dialogues and evidence generation.