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COPIL 19 poster

19th Annual Meeting of the RAO Steering Committee

Welcome to the Annual Meeting of the West Africa Network for Child Protection (WANCP), a regional cooperation mechanism dedicated to the transnational protection and reintegration of vulnerable migrant children and youth.

Regional Cooperation for Child Protection

WANCP represents a unique alliance, with each ECOWAS member state being represented by its national coordinations, consisting of civil society organizations and state services. The ultimate goal of WANCP is to make the West African space safe for mobile children and youth.

Connecting Protection Systems

At the core of its mission, WANCP strives to effectively and permanently connect the national protection systems of ECOWAS member states and Mauritania. This aims to better identify, protect, reintegrate, and monitor vulnerable children moving between countries in the sub-region.

15 Years of Impact and Collaboration

Over the past 15 years, more than 18,000 mobile children and youth have benefited from protection services provided by over 1000 state and non-state actors who are members of WANCP. These results have been possible through national and transnational collaborations involving state and consular authorities, as well as civil society organizations from the 15 ECOWAS countries and Mauritania.

Towards the Future: Reflections and Strategies

The Annual Meeting, supported by ECOWAS and technically supported by the International Social Service - West Africa (ISS-WA), is currently taking place in Accra, Ghana. It brings together participants from the ECOWAS Commission, directors in charge of child protection, child protection organizations that are WANCP members, and partner institutions.

Objectives of the 2023 Meeting

This year, the meeting aims to define strategic directions for the future, monitor the performance of member states in protecting mobile children and youth, share the results of member countries' achievements during the year, and track defined indicators for the period 2022-2025.

Sharing Progress and Challenges

Expected outcomes of this meeting include understanding progress made, sharing advances from member countries, precisely defining annual strategies and orientations, as well as highlighting issues and challenges to address.

Date de publication
COPIL 2019 à Saly

15th WAN Steering Committee at Saly in Senegal


    1. The Fifteenth Steering Committee Meeting and Annual Peer Review for Child Protection of the West Africa Network (WAN) was convened at Amaryllis Hotel, Saly, Senegal, from 03– 04 December, 2019. The meeting was convened under the auspices of the Republic of Senegal; under the authority of the ECOWAS Commission through the Department of Social Affairs and Gender; with the technical support of the International Social Service West Africa (ISS-WA) and sponsored by the SDC and EU.
    2. This Meeting was the venue for Member States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and The Gambia); with International Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and representatives of children and youth (AMWCY), to discuss the commitments made at the Banjul meeting regarding Ecowas Regional Child Protection Signage, to present good practices that could inspire the various countries and to glimpse new perspectives aimed at ensuring, on one hand that children on the move are taken into account in national child protection policies, and on the other hand to adapt ECOWAS Protocol on the Free Movement of People and Goods to new realities facing States.
    3. Member States present at this meeting welcomed the efforts made by ECOWAS to ensure the free movement of people and goods throughout its area. They also identified some points in the Ecowas protocol that could be improved in terms of taking into account issues related to the mobility of children and young people. To this end, the participants agreed to build on the work already carried out by the ISS-WA with a view to making concrete proposals that should lead to an additional protocol to the existing ECOWAS Protocol on the Free Movement of People and Goods. For national ownership, it will be up to each country to organize consultations with children's organizations at local level to ensure that their views are considered in the process.
    4. Through their presentations, Member States undertook actions for reproduction, promotion and dissemination of Ecowas Regional Child Protection Signage. However, it should be noted that, overall, Member States have been encouraged to accelerate their communication strategies to make the deployment of Protection Signage a priority.  
    5. While emphasizing on the relevance of these signage, participants noted that, there should be a clear implantation process to make places where they will be implanted safe for children.
    6. In this logic, ISS-WA is invited to finalize the process for validation of ‘’Manual for Intersectoral Training of Stakeholders in the Importance and Use of Child Protection Signage’’. The draft of the document should be shared with the stakeholders within a reasonable time for the integration, if necessary, of their comments.
    7. Participants appreciated the establishment at the ECOWAS Commission level, of a mechanism to monitor the implementation by Member States of the ECOWAS strategy on children's rights from 2020. They also mentioned that certain priorities related to the emergency in some countries of West Africa region should be taken into account.
    8. Participants noted with interest the ECOWAS Commission's proposition to combine in a single meeting the meetings of the Directors of Child Protection on all the themes addressed in the strategy. They therefore suggest that discussions could continue with the various parties regarding the practical organization of this meeting.
    9. Member States reiterate their thanks to ISS-WA and all the technical and financial partners for the organization of this 15th Steering Committee Meeting and undertake to share the quintessence of the exchanges with their respective Governments.


                                               Done at Saly, Senegal, on Wednesday 04th December 2019

Date de publication