Benin: Protecting children in parental conflicts, i.e. through family mediation


Full title: Promotion of parental responsibility and creation of a protecting environment for children in the Ouémé department

Project region: Departement Ouémé in Benin


Period of implementation: January 2017– December 2019.


Local partner: ESGB Benin

Initial Situation

More and more parents in Benin are having serious conflicts. Those are at times very violent, and children who witness them and can’t stand the psychologic stress run away from home. Currently, one out of two couples separate and since only few marriages are arranged legally, the future situation of their children is settled informally with arrangements that mostly neglect the interests of the children.


As a result, numerous children find themselves in new family constellations, where they are often ill-treated e.g. by the new spouses of one of their parents. They often loose contact to the other parent completely or even find themselves living in the streets without contact to their families at all. There, they don’t have sufficient access to food, shelter and medical treatment to meet their basic needs. Other fundamental rights, such as school education or protection from violence and exploitation are not met, either. Parents are usually not aware of their legal duties and different responsibilities towards their children.

Project Aims

5.000 children affected or endangered by the conflicts leading to separation of their parents and therefore facing serious difficulties, return to a stable and safe family context in which their fundamental rights are guaranteed.


More than 300 governmental and civil society representatives as well as active groups for child protection are proficient in the knowledge of fundamental child rights and are active for the respect of these rights. Mediation between parents who are in conflict is applied by governmental and civil society agents and is accepted by the parents.


Parents living in conflict and/or separation make a clear and formal agreement for the future of their children, whose rights are well respected.

Involved Groups

The project addresses directly

  • 2.300 children affected by separation conflicts of their parents
  • 2.700 children who are particularly at risk due to separation process of their parents
  • 2.000 couples in separation processes

And as intermediates

  • 86 representatives of decentralized governmental agencies
  • 18 representatives of civil society organizations
  • 288 representatives of 9 professional associations
  • 156 members of local child protection committees
  • 40 traditional authorities
  • 8 radio speakers


The Project will

  1. Initiate awareness-raising among adults on the legal framework and parental responsibilities
  2. Create local counselling points for couples in separation process in order to do mediations with accords that consider the interests of the child
  3. Offer psycho-social and legal assistance to children who have experienced violence during or after parental separation


Project costs: € 533.500


Financial partners:

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


Sparkasse Offenburg/Ortenau

Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.



DE69 6645 0050 0076 0040 44

Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.

Schillerstraße 16

D-77933 Lahr


Tel.: 07821/38855

Fax: 07821/985755


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