National Multisectoral Child Protection Strategy, Plan of Action (Lesotho)

Kingdom of Lesotho

This document presents the Kingdom of Lesotho's National Multisectoral Child Protection Strategy 2014–2018 and a Costed Plan of Action for 2014-2016. The document is a more detailed operational document, setting out a road map for actions from July 2014 through to March 2017. 

Child protection is the protection of boys and girls from 0-17 years from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect and abandonment. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or related to stigma, including disability and HIV-related stigma. Child protection violations can happen anywhere – home, community, institutions intended to protect children, such as schools, churches, police stations or care institutions, in the workplace or through the media. Therefore, protecting children requires working with those who are closest to children in all of these settings to maintain strong care and nurturing that most children do receive and to give people closest to children the skills to act when they suspect harm, and to act swiftly and fairly when harm occurs. 

In order to do this, there must be a clear framework of action and a coherent system – a coherent legal and regulatory framework, adults within the family, community or state institutions with the skills, mandate and resources to prevent and respond to abuse when it occurs, a joined-up set of services so that all actors – social welfare, justice, education, health, labour, faith-based groups, chiefs and other leaders – work together efficiently and in the best interests of children, and mechanisms to ensure accountability. 

Until now, there has not been one coherent strategic vision for how to address child protection in its entirety, although elements of child protection are addressed in a range of strategic plans. Whilst elements of a child protection system exist, recent assessments have identified significant gaps in evidence and coordinated response. Therefore this three year costed plan of action focuses on building up the foundational elements of the system, generating evidence and ensuring delivery and results in core priority areas. The fourth and fifth years focus on consolidation and delivering quality services at scale.