Togo Stakeholders and ECOWAS Agree on a Roadmap to Institutionalize a Government and Community Broad Approach Towards Enhanced Human Protection and Security

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The Directorate of Humanity and Social Affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender organized a 3-day Multi-Stakeholder Coordination and Capacity Building workshop in the Republic of Togo involving Ministries, State Agencies and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations), Private Sector and Media. The Workshop component is part of a two-phase Activity in Togo aimed at the development and adoption of the Roadmap; and the establishment of the ECOWAS Integrated Human Protection and Security Coordination Mechanism (ECO-PHSICM), held at the highest levels of Government. The overall objective of this activity is to strengthen the Human Protection and Security architecture in all ECOWAS Members and Togo is the fifth country to benefit from this intervention. Other countries are Gambia, Sierra Lone, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.

At the Opening Ceremony, the Director for Humanity and Social Affairs, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe in his Address delivered by Hajiya Raheemat Momodu, Head of the Division of Human Security and Civil Society (HSCS) welcomed the participants and expressed his appreciation for the ECOWAS Commission’s efforts made by stakeholders to address security and human protection issues in the country. He informed participants that the Interventional Component of the 3-Day Workshop in Togo should be preceded by a 2-Day High-Level Advocacy with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo and other relevant Ministers by the Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender. And that High Level Advocacy will still take place in the nearest future. He also informed participants that the Togo intervention was the last of the five countries allocated in 2021; because eight countries will be covered by 2022.

Hajiya Momodu, noted that the rationale and justification for the intervention was to address the prevailing realities in West Africa with regard to Human Security and Protection including Trafficking in Persons, Violence Against Children, Irregular Migration, Drug Abuse, Gender Based Violence, Low Levels of Social Protection and Access to Justice, Forced Displacement among others. According to him, the main expected outcomes of the intervention, are substantial improvements in national coordination and capacity to prevent and address vulnerability, victimization, and other related risks; hope that the Rights of Children, Women and other groups in vulnerable situations are mainstreamed into the National Development Planning, Budgeting Process, and that adequate resources are allocated with the result of significant improvements in citizen protection and human security.

Other speakers at the Opening Ceremony included the Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Togo, HE Barros Bacar Banjai, represented by Mr. Raoul Honvo; and the Minister of Social Affairs, Women’s Advancement and Literacy, represented by the Ministry’s Director General of Child Protection, Dr. Kandale Kondoh. Message of Goodwill was received from the Representative of the Civil Society Coalition in Togo, Mrs. Zewu Afiavi Akpene. All Speakers reaffirmed the commitment of the Government and People of the Republic of Togo to the establishment of human protection and security in Togo in particular and the region in general. The Opening Ceremony was moderated by Mr Babimlé Lagnie from the ECOWAS National Office at the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Togo.

The workshop ended with the adoption of the Roadmap and the agreement of the Togo stakeholders on the establishment of a Togo Human Protection and Security Coordination Mechanism in the country with the membership of all relevant stakeholders. The stakeholders also agreed on the main Advocacy Points for the second phase of the Activity. Several recommendations were made to facilitate the work of all stakeholders in advancing the agenda of human protection and security in the country, including: the establishment of a system that ensures fast and affordable access to justice for the most vulnerable people; the creation of an enabling environment for the protection of vulnerable people, especially women and children by the elimination of harmful social norms and behaviors; promotion of skills acquisition and entrepreneurship training to ensure that people in vulnerable situations can become self-employed or find employment in both the public and private sectors; undertake a baseline assessment and analysis of the national situation, based on existing national surveys of the state of human protection and security in Togo, among other recommendations.

In closing, the ECOWAS Commission reaffirms its commitment to supporting the Government and People of Togo and even other Member States in enhancing human protection and security for all ECOWAS citizens and for all people in the region.

The workshop was very well attended and participants included ECOWAS Staff, ECOWAS National Office, Togo; ECOWAS Resident Representative Office in Togo; Togo State Ministries and Institutions including: Social Action, Women’s Advancement and Literacy, Economy and Finance, Development Planning and Cooperation, Communication and Media, National Child Advisory Council, Human Rights, Police/Youth Brigade, National Assembly Cabinet, Foreign Affairs, Police National/ DCPJ, Gendarmerie Togo, The Economist of Togo, Republican Ombudsman, National Refugee Assistance Coordinator, CNLTP/MASPFA/DGPE, Network to Combat Child Trafficking in Togo, many Civil Society Organizations including, Togo Muslim Union, Christian Union Togo, CNSC- TOGO, COSCREMA/ILDA and Media Institutions including Togo Breaking News Journalists and MEDIA Togo Utama. Participating Partner Organizations are Plan International and the ICRC.

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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Togo Stakeholders and ECOWAS Agree on a Roadmap to Institutionalize a Government and Community Broad Approach Towards Enhanced Human Protection and Security

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