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Improving UNICEF staff capacity

As in previous years, the Centre took an active role in transferring the knowledge gained from its child rights research to UNICEF staff and partners. In 1999 it organized activities to enhance staff knowledge and capacity, as well as carrying out targeted advocacy to promote the Convention. The Centre also drew on ‘lessons learned’ from the field experience of UNICEF staff, with a particular focus on the impact of war on children. Child protection in situations of armed conflict Building on the 1997 publication of Starting from Zero: the promotion and protection of children’s rights in post-genocide Rwanda, in 1999 the Centre completed a case study on Burundi, a country faced with a situation of virtually permanent ethnic tension. Written by Ben Majekodunmi, UNICEF’s first-ever international Child Protection Officer to work in the field, Protection in Practice, UNICEF Experience in Burundi, calls for greater collaboration between United Nations agencies in situations of armed conflict and the internalization of a rights-based approach into every aspect of UNICEF programmes for children. Services for war-traumatized children In 1999 the Centre published Bambini fra guerra e pace: il caso di Eritrea ed Etiopia (Children in War and Peace: the case of Eritrea and Ethiopia), written by Roberto Beneduce, an Italian psychiatrist with experience with immigrants and refugees. The report outlined the issues to be addressed by agencies trying to help children suffering from psycho-social trauma, including the creation of services tailored to their particular needs. The Centre also worked with Rune Stuvland, who had completed his term as Psycho-Social Advisor to UNICEF in the countries of former Yugoslavia, on the preparation of a paper on his experiences. Project Experiences and Lessons Learned outlined key issues related to the implementation of emergency programmes in general, and psycho-social programmes in particular.

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