On 9-18 July, Watchlist conducted a field mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with the objective to deliver trainings to civil society organizations in Goma on the UN-led monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM). The trainings were organized in partnership with Watchlist’s Advisory Board Member organization World Vision International, and benefited from the participation of MONUSCO child protection section. Previous trainings were conducted in Mali (see July Newsletter), and Watchlist is currently planning missions to Myanmar and Nigeria as part of its ongoing effort to disseminate the material developed in the Resource Pack for NGOs on civil society engagement in the MRM released in March 2014.
The training was the opportunity for child protection actors to renew their call for the creation of a coordination space specific to the Resolution 1612 implementation. Participants emphasized that the MRM coordination should go beyond collecting primary data from NGOs and include: data analysis; trend analysis; identification of programmatic priorities; the development of clear pathways for response; coordination of advocacy activities; and greater feedback for NGOs on how the information submitted is being used, as well as the result of those actions.
During its mission, Watchlist also had the opportunity to convene national NGOs to participate in a 2-day seminar on the integration of child protection in the peace process in DRC. Most notably, the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) agreement for the DRC and the region sets up an ambitious plan to tackle some of the root causes of the conflict, including through a new disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) program and security sector reform (SSR). Those initiatives represent the many opportunities to improve the protective environment that should take into consideration specific needs of children.
Following the mission, on 21-25 July, Watchlist hosted its DRC partner Ajedi-ka (Association de Jeunes pour le Développement Integré – Kalundu) to participate in a joint advocacy mission in New York to share the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the seminar with the global level policy-makers. It was also an opportunity for Ajedi-ka to brief the diplomatic community on the status of implementation of the Action Plan to end and prevent recruitment and use of children, and rape or other forms of sexual violence, signed by the Government of the DRC and the United Nations in October 2012. This visit also coincided with the presentation of the Secretary General’s report on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the DRC and subsequent negotiation by the Security Council working group that will soon present its conclusions.