A new milestone for the protection of women and children in Lebanon.
Beirut, 24 June 2020 – The Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) launched today, with the support of the European Union, through the EU Madad Fund, and in partnership with UNICEF, its Strategic Plan for the Protection of Women and Children for the period of 2020-2027. The Strategic Plan focuses on strengthening MOSA’s leadership and regulatory role in the field of child protection and protection against gender-based violence while ensuring the necessary coordination and integration between the public and private sectors, including civil society, to ensure the delivery of comprehensive and quality services for target groups, contributing therefore to strengthening the national system for the prevention and response to child protection violations and gender-based violence.
Part of this strategy is also “Qudwa”, a national social behavioural change and communication (SBCC) plan to prevent child marriage, child labor and violence against girls, boys and women in Lebanon was also launched. The Qudwa initiative is designed to encourage behaviors that promote the wellbeing, dignity and equality of women, girls and boys in Lebanon.
“We are meeting today while Lebanon is going through an economic and social crisis of unprecedent magnitude. A crisis that threatens the Lebanese nation that has, since its creation, been a symbol of diversity, freedom, liberation and openness. With increasing challenges, responsibilities to protect society from all forms of racism, oppression and violence increases. The protection of children and women from all nationalities, be it Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian is an ethical and humanitarian responsibility,” Said Ramzi El Moucharafieh, Minister of Social Affairs and Tourism. “Today, more than ever, we need to set an example. We need to connect the strategic plan with practices while starting from self-convictions. I am committed to protect women and children against any form of violence or discrimination, respecting their rights, safeguarding their interests, and defending them; and I hope those present with us today, share with me this commitment”
“We congratulate the Government and especially the Ministry of Social Affairs for taking this important step today by launching the Ministry’s Strategic plan and by launching the Qudwa initiative for the protection of children and women”, said Yukie Mokuo UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “This document provides a strong roadmap for the Ministry to move ahead on its commitment to the protection of children and women. The Plan also represents a unique opportunity to streamline efforts across the government of Lebanon, its civil society and private sector partners with the support of the international community towards ensuring the protection of women and children.
Claudine Aoun Roukoz also stressed on the national plan to implement the security council resolution number 1325 around women, security and peace, and the preparation of laws to against discrimination against women.
While the Strategic Plan presents a unique opportunity to advance efforts of the Ministry of Social Affairs, civil society and private sector partners with the support of the international community towards ensuring the protection of women and children, “Qudwa” involves activities and key messages for how communities, children and parents can support the process of change and contribute to ending harmful practices and support the promotion of new norms that foster protective behaviors of women and children.
The MOSA Strategic Plan 2020-2027 is not the start of something new, rather it’s a continuation of a journey that started almost a decade ago through the enormous efforts have been made and initiatives taken to build a child protection and gender-based violence prevention and response system that is effective and equitable in ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable women, boys and girls.
The European Union has supported the development of the MOSA Strategic Plan 2020-2027 from the very beginning, as the main donor assisting Lebanon with measures and funding to ensure children are protected and all forms of gender-based violence are eliminated.
UNICEF calls on the continued strong partnership between the Government of Lebanon, civil society, the private sector and the international community to ensure that the plan achieves the objective it has identified
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children and young people in Lebanon, please visit www.unicef.org/Lebanon.