Child Protection: Côte d’Ivoire and the U.S. Government sign a partnership agreement
Côte d’Ivoire and the United States of America signed a partnership agreement for child protection on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at the Office of the First Lady. Côte d’Ivoire was selected to benefit from the CPC program after an evaluation mission conducted by the US Department of State. Which makes Côte d’Ivoire the 7th country in the world to sign this partnership with the American Government, after Philippines, Ghana, Peru, Jamaica, Mongolia and Colombia.
The signing ceremony of this agreement witnessed the presence of Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairwoman of the National Oversight Committee for Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CNS), Mr. Adama Kamara, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CIM), Mrs. Nasseneba Touré, Minister of Women, Family and Children and Vice chair of the CIM, Mrs. Myss Belmonde Dogo, Minister of Solidarity and Fight against Poverty and Executive Secretary of the National Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and many other personalities.
The Child Protection Compact (CPC) is a U.S. government aid program that can provide up to 10 million U.S. dollars (about 5 billion CFA francs) to fight child trafficking. Its objective is to strengthen the capacities of government bodies, as well as civil society organizations and public international organizations, to fight against child trafficking. It aims at intensifying Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to meet the needs of child victims of trafficking, as well as vulnerable children or children at risk, in order to eliminate the phenomenon in the country. The agreement is for a period of five years.
The U.S. Department of State will make funding available to national and international non government organizations and UN agencies, selected through a competitive process, to implement the activities of the CPC Partnership Action Plan. Government Actors will not receive funding directly.
This partnership wants to increase the ivorian government’s efforts to protect children’s rights. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of the CNS was pleased that Côte d’Ivoire has been selected by the U.S. Department of State to benefit from the partnership program for the Child Protection Pact. “The event that brings us together today is very important as it will contribute to the protection of children’s rights. Indeed, the signing of this partnership agreement for the protection of children between the United States and Côte d’Ivoire, is part of our country’s effort to ensure child protection. I am therefore pleased that after the mission conducted in Côte d’Ivoire in June 2022 by the U.S. Department of State, Côte d’Ivoire has been selected to benefit from the partnership program for the Child Protection Pact, “said the First Lady Dominique Ouattara. For Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, this program is in line with the the country’s vision in terms of child protection and will intensify the commitment of the country in the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor. “This new step in our common commitment to child protection is all the more encouraging, as the program as it has been designed, perfectly matches the vision of Côte d’Ivoire in planning actions to fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor in our country,” explained the First Lady. Then the wife of the Head of State explained the strategy through the National Action Plan to fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor, and the protection of their rights. Also, in spite of these actions carried out within the framework of the remediation process, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara believes that much remains to be done. This is why the First Lady was pleased with the signing of this partnership which will allow us to step up our efforts to fight child trafficking. “All these actions have already allowed us to achieve significant results, but many challenges remain. This is why I welcome the signing of this agreement and the strengthening of our partnership with the United States, which will allow us to step up our efforts to achieve our objectives in the fight against child trafficking in Côte d’Ivoire,” explained Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, before calling on the various parties involved in the fight against this phenomenon to work together. “I am convinced that despite the complexity of the task, if we combine our efforts we will be able to get tangible results “, she stressed.
Mr. Adama Kamara, Minister of Employment and Social Protection and Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CIM), welcomed the selection of Côte d’Ivoire to the partnership program “Child Protection Pact”. For him, this program will allow the country to intensify efforts to address child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor. The Chairmanof the CIM took tis opportunity to thank First Lady Dominique Ouattara for her personal commitment to the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor. Indeed, for him, the advocacy and leadership of the wife of the Head of State at the international level have enabled the country to be selected for this program. “Madam, without any doubt, it is your leadership and the advocacy that you constantly carry out at the international level that allowed our country to be selected for this partnership program implemented by the US Government. Thank you very much,” said Mr. Adama Kamara.
Ms. Joann Lockard, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., on behalf of the U.S. Government, congratulated Côte d’Ivoire for the progress made in the fight against trafficking, exploitation and child labor. “The United States is proud to support your efforts. Today, we are launching this new partnership to support the actions already put in place by the Ivorian government as it works with national actors and civil society organizations in a sustainable and coordinated manner to combat sexual exploitation and forced labor of children,” said Ms. Joann Lockard.
Ms. Yao Patricia Sylvie, Executive Secretary of the CNS, presented the pact on child protection between the U.S. Government and Côte d’Ivoire.