FXB-UNICEF Child Protection Curriculum

For Immediate Release

Harvard and UNICEF team up to train global child protection experts

BOSTON, November 6, 2013 On November 6, 2013, faculty from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will join children’s rights organization UNICEF in a celebration of their new joint child protection curriculum at the School. The partnership will produce one of the first interdisciplinary graduate programs in child protection, which will form a sub-concentration in the school’s Department of Global Health. Through the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, SPH will offer these courses to master’s degree students. The curriculum will reflect current research grounded in field-based realities, taking into account the expertise of UNICEF and external child protection experts, and will incorporate a range of disciplinary approaches to practical and theoretical aspects of child protection.

This collaboration, coinciding with the School’s centennial anniversary, illuminates Harvard’s continued commitment to building a better world through knowledge-sharing and leadership training. At the world-renowned university, students will benefit from immersion in the academic underpinnings of child protection practice. “Child protection professionals should expect to be better equipped to engage in more rigorous research, monitoring, evaluation, and use of data,” declared FXB Center Director Jennifer Leaning. For UNICEF, an expanded network of child protection professionals trained by some of the world’s most eminent scholars and practitioners is good news for the world’s children. Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection for UNICEF, said: “The certificate program for master’s degree students will not only expand the cadre of qualified policymakers and field workers but also enhance the capacity of current and future child protection professionals. Most of all, our partnership will further the professionalization of child protection as a sector, giving it greater priority on the global policy and development agendas, and raising the profile of the sector overall.”

Thus far, curriculum overseers have conceptualized courses addressing the major contemporary issues in child protection: child rights, extenuating circumstances of crisis response, juvenile justice and child protection policy. All courses will be required components for certificate candidates; Harvard graduate students will be able to take specific courses of interest. The first of these courses is expected to be offered in spring 2014.

More on this project: http://fxb.harvard.edu/child-protection-curriculum/.
About UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/.
About the FXB Center: http://fxb.harvard.edu/fxb-center-overview/.
About HSPH: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/about/.

Homepage photo credit: / UNHCR / G. Beals / September 2013. Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.