Benin: Violence-free schools - fighting sexist discrimination, sexual abuse and exploitation of children



Project title: Improvement of child protection - prevention of sexual violence and abuse in the department Ouémé in Benin

Project region: Bonou, Adjohoun, Dangbo, Aguégués, Akpro-Missérété, Porto-Novo

Duration: January 1, 2014 - April 30, 2017

Local partner: CIPCRE-Benin




Our local partner CIPCRE-Benin has been researching child trafficking for the cause of sexual exploitation and has released a study concerning this issue in 2008. 252 underage prostitute girls between the age of 12 and 17 have been surveyed. The study shows, that about 50% of the girls had been sold to national or international human traffickers by their own parents or relatives. They get paid about 56 €, of which the procurer receives 98% and the girls themselves the resting 2%. The following campaign of CIPCRE in 2009-2010 shows, that there is also an increase in sexual abuse in families and schools, on markets and construction sites as well as in clubs and religious communities.

As a countermeasure, CIPCRE and Kinderrechte Afrika e.V. initiated a preventive project for the creation of an environment that respects children’s rights and prevents sexual violence in the department of Ouémé. The project lasted for two and a half years, from July 2011 to December 2013. Thereafter, we realized, that there was an important progress regarding the fight of this phenomenon.


Nevertheless, there are still many aspects, which threaten the sustainability of these achievements and further promote sexual violence against children.


The most important aspects are the following:

  • The perpetrators rarely receive criminal punishment and the support for victims is still inadequate.
  • Children and adults are negatively influenced by sexualization in the media.
  • Many children live far away, and even isolated, from their parents. The communication between parents and children can rarely be influenced.

Project Objectives


The project aims at improving the protection of children from sexual violence in and outside of schools in Ouémé as well as at the adequate accompaniement of victims. Children, particularly girls, shall be enabled to protect themselves from possible offences. Also, their security shall be improved by politicians and civil societies, who actively engage in child protection.

Target Groups


  • 15,540 children and adolescents
  • 6,120 parents
  • 64 members of local committees for the protection of children
  • 90 contact persons of religious communities
  • 30 traditional authorities
  • 30 responsibles of video shops and internet cafés
  • 20 media representatives
  • 45 responsibles of governmental departments
  • 95 local officials
  • 60 school principals and 140 teachers
  • 30 responsible persons from the telecommunication sector



  • Awareness-raising for responsibles of different religious communities
  • Awareness-raising for traditional dignitaries from 6 communities
  • Awareness-raising for parents
  • Creating platforms, where children can share their experiences
  • Awareness-raising for journalists of radio, television and press
  • Creating and realizing a media plan
  • Training for 35 decentralized departments on a local level
  • Training for 60 contact persons of religious communities and societies from 6 communities
  • Training for 140 teachers from 20 different schools
  • Advocacy measures: meeting for 15 responsibles of the governmental department on national and regional level
  • Creating a hotline free of charge in the project areas
  • Initiating a behavioral codex for the fight against sexual abuse in schools and other educational establishments in Benin
  • Technical and logistical support for schools for realizating action plans for the protection of children
  • Annual exchange of information and experiences with 60 school principals
  • Annual training for local representatives of 6 communes and support with realizating their plans
  • Realizating the decisions which have been made in the meeting (Oct. 2013), considering the isolation of children from their families
  • 8 trainings for 20 adolescents each, who are contact persons in middle schools
  • Annual trainings for 20 children each, who are contact persons in extracurricular surroundings
  • Annual trainings in each commune for 9 representatives of the committee for the protection of children
  • Supporting caring societies for students and trainees as well as initiatives for children who don’t attend school and children who have to work as they live isolated from their parents
  • Internal training for the staff of CIPCRE-Benin


Project costs: 545,688 €

Financial Partners:

  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Kinderrechte Afrika e.V. (donations)


Cover photo: Students of secondary schools in Benin accompany the official set-up of a sign signifying that they will not tolerate sexual abuse and violence. KiRA and CIPCRE initiated the introduction of a code of conduct in many schools in the region of Ouémé, which has been drawn up in cooperation with parents, students and the school staff. The Ministry of Education has now adopted this measure and made a code of conduct binding for all educational institutions.

No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Art. 37 UN-CRC. © Elisabeth Munsch

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