Coram International has recently been awarded a large-scale institutional contract to carry out a Situation Analysis (SitAn) of Children Affected by Migration in Southeast Asia on behalf of UNICEF EAPRO. The consultancy falls under a wider EU-funded programme to protect children affected by migration in Southeast, South and Central Asia between 2018 and 2021. The SitAn aims to contribute to the evidence base on ‘children affected by migration’ in the region, including migrant children, internally forcibly displaced children, cross-border migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and ‘children left behind’, as well as undocumented, stateless, smuggled and trafficked children. The research will investigate the protection risks facing these populations of children, including new risks emerging in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the scale and drivers of child migration in the region, with a particular focus on Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The study will employ a mixed-methods approach to data collection. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with key stakeholders at the regional and national level, as well as community members, children and families in each of the focus countries, in order to gather in-depth contextual information on the realities of child migration in the region. Quantitative methods will be employed in order to elaborate upon and quantify the drivers, risks and experiences identified by the qualitative research. Primary data collection will be preceded by an in-depth literature review and legislative analysis of regional, bilateral and national laws relevant to children affected by migration in the 10 ASEAN states.

In 2019 Coram International was contracted to conduct a situation analysis of children in the ten ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam). The analysis and report first considers progress in the region in the 30 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the child across health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, child protection and social protection. It then moves on to consider remaining challenges, emerging issues and opportunities in the early years (early moments matter), in the context of environment (safe and sustainable environment) and in adolescence (adolescent potential unleashed), particularly in light of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. The report concludes with recommendations for future action. The final report is available via this link.

In 2016, Coram International was awarded funding from the Home Office’s Child Trafficking Protection Fund (CTPF) for a two and a half year project aiming to help end the trafficking of children within and from Vietnam. Partnering with UNICEF Vietnam and UNICEF UK, the project covered three streams of work:

  • Comprehensive socio-legal research and the development of a series of profiles to understand how, why, where and when children are most at risk of trafficking and slavery
  • Interagency workshops involving government agencies and civil society in Vietnam, bringing different groups together to identify and strengthen prevention, identification and response mechanisms to child trafficking and slavery
  • Capacity building with government agencies and community workers to strengthen the work of those combatting child trafficking and slavery in Vietnam

The funding enabled the team and partners to acquire much needed research-based evidence about the driving forces, patterns, trends and factors that put many children at risk from trafficking and slavery. The project aimed to strengthen multi-agency coordination, prevention and response for potential and actual victims through workshops and capacity building activities. The research report is available via this link.

In 2016/17, Coram International worked with Plan France to conduct a study on ‘Gender, Youth Economic Empowerment and Internal Economic Migration in Vietnam and Philippines’. The study assessed the experiences of young women (and men) who migrate internally in Vietnam and the Philippines, to uncover the key push and pull factors that are driving youth internal migration, to identify problems and risks faced by young migrants, and to analyse the potential for law, policy and programming to mitigate the challenges faced by migrating youth in both countries. The study addressed these overall objectives by drawing on secondary analyses of existing evidence (desk review) and by conducting qualitative primary data collection in Vietnam and the Philippines. In-country primary data collection methods included focus group discussions with young migrants in ‘source’ and ‘destination’ communities of internal migration as well as individual in-depth interviews with key stakeholders (i.e. policy-makers, experts, NGO staff, intermediaries, and community leaders).

In 2013, Coram International was contracted to conduct an extensive, multi-country assessment of the impact of universal birth registration at the micro level (for individual children and youth) and at the macro level (for the State). Thematically, the project focused upon the impact of birth registration in the areas of child labour, early marriage, juvenile justice and parental responsibility. This project included an extensive literature review of existing data and reports relating to the impact and potential benefits of birth registration, as well as qualitative primary research in four selected Plan programme countries: India, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Vietnam. The research was conducted in partnership with the International Observatory on Statelessness carried out a complimentary quantitative analysis of existing data sets. Coram International was responsible for incorporating this quantitative analysis into a final report, which provided case studies from the selected Plan programme countries, as well as overarching findings and recommendations relating to birth registration.

Professor Hamilton was contracted by UNICEF Vietnam in 2013 to deliver a short-term consultancy to provide technical assistance to UNICEF and the Government of Vietnam on the development of juvenile and family courts. The project involved the drafting of a series of options and briefing papers for the Supreme Court of Vietnam, in order to present best practices and trends in juvenile courts worldwide, and to adapt these to the Vietnamese context. In the final report, Professor Hamilton presented recommended options for the development of Family and Juvenile Courts in Vietnam, providing technical input on jurisdiction and structure in particular.

In 2013, Professor Carolyn Hamilton and Coram International conducted a mapping and analysis of national legislation related to violence against children in each of the ten ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). This mapping and analysis compared national legislation to international laws, standards and best practices, including the recommendations and findings from UNICEF’s Violence Against Children Study. The project included a detailed comparison across the ten ASEAN Member States, highlighting common issues, concerns, or successes and making recommendations for legislative reform.

In 2013, Professor Carolyn Hamilton was contracted to produce a report on fair, speedy and efficient procedures in handling drug users and juveniles in conflict with the law in Vietnam. The report focused upon the methods and mechanisms by which administrative offences are dealt with in Vietnam and how this compares to international human rights standards and best practices. As a central component of this project, Professor Hamilton facilitated a workshop discussion with a high-level advisory group of stakeholders from UN agencies and the Government of Vietnam, in order to present the report findings, and to make recommendations on the development of the administrative law and administrative practices.

In 2011, Coram International delivered training on child rights monitoring/ acting as an ombudsman to an NGO it had previously identified as being a potential pseudo-ombudsman. Coram International developed and delivered a three day, participatory training programme covering the key content of the UNCRC, child participation methodologies and monitoring responsibilities.

In 2010, Coram International conducted an assessment of Penal and Penal Procedural Code provisions related to juvenile justice and protection of children from violence, exploitation and abuse for UNICEF in Vietnam. This involved secondary and primary data collection, including in-country data collection undertaken by Coram International alongside a group of national researchers, to whom Coram International had provided research skills training. Coram International then developed amended Penal and Penal Procedural Code provisions related to child-friendly procedures, and prepared UNICEF advocacy notes/recommendations on how Vietnam could better protect juveniles in conflict with the law and children from violence, exploitation and abuse. Coram International provided guidance to a team of national experts by drafting an assessment of the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code and providing recommendations for reform.

In 2010, Coram International conducted comprehensive analysis of the child welfare and protection services in Vietnam, including a review of existing laws, policies, documents, research, studies and evaluation reports related to child and family welfare services and field research at the national level across provinces, in order to gather information about the implementation of laws and policies in practice. In order to complete this field research, the Centre trained national researchers from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to provide research support. Coram International presented analysis and findings to the Government, developed recommendations for the development of child welfare and protection services, and created a framework for the provision of holistic child welfare and protection services.

In 2010, Coram International completed a study to strengthen child rights monitoring in Vietnam in collaboration with the Planning and Social Policy section of UNICEF. This study involved the comprehensive examination of the existing child rights monitoring situation in Vietnam, with a particular focus on the child rights oversight role of the National Assembly, in light of international experiences and best practices on child rights monitoring. In order to complete this work, Coram International engaged in in-country field research at the national, provincial and local level. Following analysis of both primary and secondary data, Coram International developed a report providing options for a child rights monitoring mechanism or Ombudsperson for children in Vietnam. This was presented at a workshop involving high level National Assembly members in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.