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Martin Hays Speaks to AIDF

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Contact: Felisha Jones, 804-545-3626

Are Humanitarians Properly Trained to Protect Children Abroad?

ChildFund Child Protection Specialist to Speak at D.C. Global Forum

Richmond, Va. – June 6, 2011 Child protection is a community-wide effort that goes beyond mobilization during a disaster; it’s a daily fight in the lives of vulnerable children. To address this problem across the humanitarian aid sector, Martin Hayes, a child protection specialist with ChildFund International co-authored a field manual on basic yet effective child protection methods.

Hayes will present the manual, Applying Basic Child Protection Mainstreaming: Training for Field Staff in Non-protection Sectors, at this year’s Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), June 8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

“Child-protection mainstreaming is meant to train humanitarian workers — whose focus is not specifically child protection — develop a mindset of child protection in order to better understand possible risks associated with the work that they are doing on the ground each day,” says Hayes, "The mainstreaming also helps to reduce these risks to children through better designs and better-quality implementation."

ChildFund International partnered with other organizations to create the training manual, which was field-tested in Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Indonesia, Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In poverty-stricken communities, children and youth are the most vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and trafficking.

“We’re seeing a trend of passionate children in Africa and the Middle East who are eager to take part in the changes needed to bring about peace in their communities by sharing the things that we don’t see,” says Hayes. “It is imperative that we value their perspectives, which will help us reduce risks and strengthen the quality of our programs.”

Visit to attend this free forum for the opportunity to hear Hayes’ talk and further discuss innovative training models in child protection.

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ChildFund International is a global child development and protection agency serving more than 15.2 million children and their family members in 31 countries. For more than 70 years, we have helped the world’s deprived, excluded and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund Alliance we create supportive environments in which children can flourish. To sponsor a child in need, visit the ChildFund website.