Mr Stephen Blight
Mr. Stephen Blight is the UNICEF Regional Child Protection Advisor for East Asia and the Pacific. Based in Bangkok, he provides oversight and technical support to the child protection programs in 14 countries in the region. He was formerly Chief of Child Protection in UNICEF Sudan, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Stephen was Country Director of Save the Children UK in DRC and also worked with OXFAM and CARE International. Stephen worked in Ethiopia, Burundi, Algeria, Zaire, Mauritania, Kenya, Somalia, Guinea and Thailand.
As Chief of Child Protection Stephen managed programmes that provided strategic support to governments in implementing recent legislative reform, including the Children’s Act, Child Justice Act, and Sexual Offences Act. In Sudan, there was specific focus on rolling out prevention and early intervention programmes for children at risk; supporting intersectoral collaboration in addressing child abuse and neglect; strengthening alternative care options; and working with probation services for children in conflict with the law. The programme also supported government efforts to include foreign migrant children in national care and protection systems.
As Head of a large child protection programme in DRC, Stephen led the (a) strengthening of the legal and social protection of children at risk of violence, exploitation, and social exclusion; (b) developing a national framework for the care and protection of orphans and other vulnerable children, and scaling up community-based responses in their favour; (c) preventing and responding to sexual violence; and (d) preventing the use of children in conflict, and supporting the release and reintegration of children associated with armed groups and forces.
Violence against children: piecing together the puzzle.
There has been a compelling moral case for action to protect children from violence. However, the evidence base that underpins national child protection policies and programmes has been weak. In order to address these gaps, UNICEF is assembling a package of evidence based upon the following priority questions: What do we know about the prevalence of various forms of violence against children? What are the drivers that place children at risk? What are the individual impacts and social costs of this violence? What works for prevention and response? How well is the child protection system performing? What is the cost of intervention, especially for national budgets at scale? The presentation will highlight key issues in relation to this framework, with specific reference to the East Asia-Pacific region.