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Dynamics of social protection for children in Africa

Dynamique de la protection sociale de l’enfance en Afrique

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Published on Tuesday, December 07, 2021


Child social protection refers to a set of measures aimed at reducing poverty among this social category, managing its individual risks and promoting its equitable and sustainable growth. Beyond ideological visions and co-representations about Childhood, the realities offered by the Africain socioeconomic environment make it possible to report a more concrete anthropological point of view on the meaning and value of children’s lived experiences. These various realities thus allow us to identify some avenues allowing us to better understand the process by which most children are subjected to trafficking in order to better define the mechanisms leading to their social protection.



The concept of “dynamics” refers to proactivity, or better to any moving and/or active force which causes the setting in motion of a system. Like society, which is by not static (Balandier, 1971), social protection for children in Africa is constantly being modified. According to the common understanding, social protection involves all the collective welfare mechanisms that allow individuals to cope with the financial consequences of social risks. Social protection of childhood therefore refers to the mechanisms for dealing with all situations likely to compromise their economic and social security. These situations are, for example, maltreatment, disrespect of their rights, trafficking and sexual exploitation (Mbassa Menick, 2002 and 2009). Social protection for children has two major objectives: to enable children to survive in the event of difficulties related to non-support within the domestic unit and to reduce inequality linked to the risks of life and provide them with minimum assistance and supervision.

The social protection system for children in Africa actually started in 1999 through the application of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Its duties since then, has been to intervene either for the prevention and treatment of reported cases, or for the rehabilitation of children in moral and physical danger. This is how social workers at all levels tackle these different tasks. The Child Social Protection System thus refers to “a set of laws, policies, regulations and services necessary in all social sectors - in particular social action, health, security and justice - and community groups and faith-based and other private service providers.” The social protection policy for children in African states is part of a reformist approach that goes beyond any denunciation action. The actions are mainly carried out within the framework of a global approach with diversified measures taken at different levels. In Cameroon for example, these are obviously based on field initiatives most often relayed by specific organizations and structures that have a vocation (MINAS, 2011). The national commitment to the well-being of children has been strengthened in Cameroon with visible progress in the realization of the social protection policy included in the Growth and Employment strategy document (DCSE) and most recently in the National Development Strategy document 2020-2030 (SND-30).

Both in Cameroon and in several other states, social protection is now a key component in poverty reduction strategies in that it represents a very important factor in efforts aimed at reducing economic and social vulnerability. It is therefore important in more than one way for children in view of the extent of their vulnerability as opposed to adults, and also in view of the role it can play in ensuring adequate nutrition as well as better health, and access to basic social services (education, health, water, sanitation, security, etc.).

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), whose thirtieth anniversary was celebrated in 2019, advocates, among other things, the universal well-being of children. This convention adopted by the World Summit for Children in November 1989 was ratified by almost all States in the world, including Cameroon in 1991. However, despite this ratification, the social indicators of coverage and impact remain inconsistent, so much so that the results of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the CRC appear rather mixed.

There are many actors who work on a daily basis for sustainable social protection for children in Cameroon. In their sovereign mission, government actors play a primordial role. International organizations are not left out in this dynamic: UNICEF, ILO, UNDP, WFP, UNHCR, UNAIDS, WHO, etc. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as well as many associations also act as partners whose brilliant actions on the ground leaves no one indifferent. With regard to the 30th anniversary of the CDE, it appears important to carry out an evaluation of the actions carried out by these different actors while proposing new avenues that could lead to optimal social protection of children in Africa. Until recently, the context seemed to present more opportunities than challenges for promoting child welfare (PNPS, 2017). However, given current realities, threats outweigh these opportunities. Given that social protection is linked to the concept of resilience, the issue of childhood needs to be updated in relation to current changes and challenges in the society. Beyond speeches and administrative responses of all kinds, it is more a question of providing concrete scientific responses not only in terms of improving knowledge, but also of strengthening the academic, institutional and community measures that contribute enormously to the dynamics of the social protection of children in Africa.

Contributions should focus on any of the following key areas:

  • Axis 1: History of children's rights in Africa: ruptures and permanence of the movement with regard to the socioeconomic context.
  • Axis 2: Multiple dynamics and sectorial strategies for the social protection of children in Africa: challenges and perspectives linked to the economic and socio-anthropological context.
  • Axis 3: Applicability of legal instruments (national and international) for the protection of children in the African context: challenges and perspectives.
  • Axis 4: Child labor in Africa : between rights and obligations.
  • Axis 5: Co-protection against trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in Africa.

Submission guidelines

Researchers, academics and professionals interested in this call are requested to send their abstracts (research problem, hypothesis, methodology, preliminary results and keywords) to the following address: afojiotsa@yahoo.com by January 20, 2022

Each proposal, in French or in English, must include a summary or abstract (300 words maximum; font: Times New Roman; line spacing: 1; Size: 12) with 5 key words, followed by last name, first name, affiliation and author's rank.

NB: The first page should include: surname (s), first name (s), institutional affiliation, grade and chosen line of thought. 

Important dates

  • Official launch date: November 30, 2021
  • Deadline for abstract submission: January 20, 2022
  • Date of notification of accepted/rejected abstracts: January 30, 2022
  • Deadline for the submission of full articles: April 30, 2022
  • Date of notification of accepted texts: June 30, 2022
  • Possible book publication date: October 2022

Scientific committee

  • Mforteh Stephen Ambe, Professor, University of Yaoundé I;
  • Gilbert Taguem Fah, Professor, University of Ngaoundéré;
  • Virginie Wanyaka Bonguen, Professor, University of Yaoundé I;
  • Idrissou Alioum, Senior Lecturer, University of Maroua;
  • Raymond Ebale, Senior Lecturer, University of Yaoundé I;
  • Nathan Onana Noah, Senior Lecturer;
  • Henri Yambene, CNE / MINRESI researcher;
  • Faustin Kenne, Senior Lecturer, University of Yaoundé I;
  • Christophe Signie, Senior Lecturer, ENS Yaoundé;
  • Raphael Batenguene, Senior Lecturer, University of Douala;
  • Carole Nouazi, CNE / CNE/MINRESI, Senior Researcher;
  • Serges Mboumegne, CNE/MINRESI, Senior Researcher;
  • Albert Jiotsa, CNE/MINRESI Senior Researcher;
  • Martial Jeugue, CNE/MIN RESI, Senior Researcher;
  • Erick Sourna Loumtouang, CNE/MINRESI, Senior Researcher.

Reading committee

  • Jean Pierre Edjoa, Director of Social Protection for Children / MINAS;
  • Erick Wilson Fofack, Lecturer, University of Dschang;
  • William Pokem Kamdem, Lecturer, University of Dschang;
  • Abdou Njikam, Research Officer, CNE / MINRESI;
  • Raoul Ehode Elah, CNE / MINRESI, Research Officer;
  • Gaston Bessala, CNE / MINRESI, Researcher;
  • Reine Fosso, CNE / MINRESI,  Research Officer;
  • José Donadoni Manga, CNE / MINRESI, Research Officer;
  • Norah Aziamin Asongu, Research Officer, CNE / MINRESI;
  • Godwill Kungso, Lecturer, University of Dschang;
  • Hervé Mvondo, CNE / MINRESI,  Research Officer;
  • Fabrice Akono, Assistant, ENS/Bertoua;
  • Willy Didier Foga, Assistant, University of Douala;
  • Teguia Bogny, Research Officer, CNE / MINRESI;
  • Aurélien Modio, University of Yaoundé I;
  • Nicolas Owona, Research Officer, CNE / MINRESI;
  • Daniel Nana Komey, Research Officer, CNE / MINRESI;
  • Johanna Tadadjeu, Research Officer, CNE/MINRESI;
  • Saliou Abba, Research Officer, CNE/MINRESI ;
  • Honoré Fouhba, Research Officer, CNE/MINRESI;
  • Florence Kwanye Kwada, Research Officer, CNE/MINRESI ;
  • Tiemeni Sigankwe, Research Officer, CNE/MINRESI;
  • Salamatou, Research Officer, CNE/MINRESI;
  • Nicolas Ndock, Assistant, University of Ngaoundéré;
  • Timothy Musima OKIA, Research Officer, CNE / MINRESI;
  • Alvine Assembe, Assistant, University of Douala;
  • Prince Tchoudja, Assistant, University of Douala;
  • Gérard Ngandjou Komolo, University of Yaoundé I.

Bibliographical references

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia), July, 1990.

Balandier G., Sens et Puissance de la société, Paris, PUF, 1971.

Jiotsa A., « La main-d’œuvre infantile dans l’Ouest-Cameroun de 1927 à 2010 : entre socialisation et exploitation », thèse de doctorat/Ph.D, Université de Yaoundé I, 2016.

Jiotsa A., « Le trafic et la traite des enfants en Afrique centrale : stratégies de lutte contre un phénomène entravant la libre-circulation des personnes », in Revue du CAMES, Semestriel de publication du Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur, Nouvelle série, Sciences humaines, N°003 – 2ème semestre 2014, pp.167-184.

Mbassa Menick D., Les abus sexuels en milieu scolaire au Cameroun : Résultats d’une Recherche-Action à Yaoundé, Yaoundé, Med. , 2002.

Mbassa Menick D., Dassa K. S., Kenmogne J. B., et Abanda Ngon G., Mineurs exploités sexuellement à des fins commerciales : étude multicentrique prospective au Cameroun, Yaoundé, Med. , 2009.

, Document de "Politique Nationale de Protection Sociale (PNPS)" au Cameroun, 2017.

, "Guide MINAS pour la Sensibilisation et la Modernisation en Faveur des Enfants de la Rue", 2011.

, "Guide d’Education Prénuptiale, Matrimoniale et Familiale", Tome 1 : Généralités et Tome 2 : Fiches Techniques., 2011.

Ndo A., "Etude sur la Protection Sociale Axée sur l’Enfant au Cameroun", Commissionnée par la République du Cameroun et UNICEF, 2011.

République du Cameroun et UNICEF., "Cartographie et Analyse du Système National de Protection de l’Enfant au Cameroun". Réalisé par la CPC Learning Network, 2014.

République du Cameroun et UNICEF., "Situation de l’enfant et de la femme au Cameroun en 2010", 2010.

UNICEF, UNHCR, "Save the Children and World Vision", 2013.



  • Thursday, January 20, 2022


  • enfance, protection sociale, afrique, droit de l'enfant, traite de l'enfant, childhood, social protection, africa, child's right, child trafficking


  • Albert Jiotsa
    courriel : afojiotsa [at] yahoo [dot] com

Information source

  • Albert Jiotsa
    courriel : afojiotsa [at] yahoo [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Dynamics of social protection for children in Africa », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, December 07, 2021, https://doi.org/10.58079/17tu

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