With our colleagues at DFID and UNICEF, and with our partners Childline Zimbabwe and the Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, we’re looking at the challenge of abuse against D/deaf children and young people in Zimbabwe. The reality is that there is no child rights and child protection provision in Zimbabwe for D/deaf children. So we’re working with the Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, to develop their capacity to deliver specialist training that encompasses the distinct communication, cultural and linguistic needs of D/deaf children.
In addition, we’re working with Childline Zimbabwe to ensure their provision is accessible and that D/deaf children who present at their twenty-two community based Drop In Centres are afforded appropriate support. The scale of the task here is staggering. In 2014, Childline Zimbabwe dealt with more than 7,000 Drop In cases. What proportion of these cases featured D/deaf children, we don’t know, but measures are being prepared to record this data, so that our approach is evidence based and we have a baseline from which we can assess the impact of our support. What is known is that levels of abuse are rising and this invariably includes abuse against D/deaf children.
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