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​Child Development Unit

 The Child Development Unit (CDU) was set up in 1995. It ensures that the survival, protection, development and participation rights of the Mauritian child are upheld as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child whereby the best interests of the child shall be of primary consideration in all policies, programmes and actions pertaining to children’s welfare.

The State has the obligation to ensure parental role wherever parents fail to do so and this role is ensured by the CDU. Any child may be a potential victim of violence, and the CDU has to intervene promptly and is expected to provide comprehensive service delivery with a view to provide immediate assistance and follow up to the child.
The Child Development Unit has as main objectives:
  • provide for Protection Services to victims of violence, ​​abuse and neglect on a 24 hr 7 days basis;
  • provide for hotline service with respect to reporting of a case and counseling as appropriate;
  • ​provide victims with follow-up sessions to ensure recovery from trauma and thereafter their re-insertion in society;
  • prepare and support children victims of violence for legal encounters;
  • provide for Early Childhood Development services to the cohort of 0-3 years;
  • ​provide parents with life skills through a National Parental Empowerment Programme and Ecole des Parents;
  • ​provide Alternative care to abused children, ranging from temporary removal to a shelter for children in distress, to foster caring and eventually, as a last resort, committal to a charitable institution;
provide victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation with curative, rehabilitative and reintegrative services;
  • provide tardy declaration of birth services to  children  who have not been declared within the prescribed time delay;
  • provide periodic review of placement of children in shelters and charitable institutions;
  • act as Central Authority in International Child Abduction cases;
  • provide trained mentors to children seen to be in distress because of mild behavioural problems through a well spelt child Mentoring Programme; and
  • provide community safety and community actions in Child Protection and Child Welfare in general through Community Child Protection Programme and outreach Programmes.
Our Approach
Working collaboratively to:
Enforce the Children's Act 2020 and its Regulations whereby it is mandated by law to report to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, any case of suspectedabuse​, ill-treatment, abandonment, neglect and sexual exploitation of children including Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
Shape and influence programmes/ actions pertaining to child protection and development at a national as well as regional level.
Develop partnerships with other stakeholders namely governmental institutions, Non-governmental institutions, community organizations that have at heart the best interests of the Mauritian Child.
Reinforce existing networking system for the reporting / monitoring and evaluation of child violence cases.
Promote information, education and communication to the Mauritian citizens on the importance of child rights/ protection/ development services and facilities.
Services O​ffered

“The Governmen​t must make sure that the child is protected from any type of physical or mental violence ,injury or abuse ,neglect ,maltreatment or exploitation, while he/she lives in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.Special procedures must be set up to help the child if he/she has been the victim of abuse” Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The CDU ensures that all measures are taken to protect the child from any forms of  abuse by ensuring accessibility and proximity service delivery in respect of child protection. The CDU operates a network of 9 Outstations namely Child Protection Services(CPS) in the following regions: Goodlands, Port-Louis, Bambous, Souillac, Flacq, Vacoas, Rose Hill, Moka and Plaine Magnien and provides immediate assistance, protection and follow up, as appropriate to children victims of  abuse.


The CPS provides for dedicated multi-disciplinary support in a one stop shop child friendly system by a team of professionals attending to the immediate and multi-disciplinary needs of children victims of abuse.

The services provided at the level of the CPS are as follows:

  1. Social and psychological counselling;
  2. Referral for Legal Advice;
  3. Family therapy;
  4. Referral to other institutions;
  5. Removal of children from place of danger and placement in shelter/institutions  and
  • Reintegration/Rehabilitation of the child in the family set-up.

The Supervising Officer of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare has the mandate and authority, to investigate and intervene in cases of suspected child abuse. The Children's Act 2020 confers upon the Supervising Officer​ or any public officer designated by him to apply for an Emergency Protection Order in respect of a child who is at risk. The CDU takes steps to ensure the child’s safety, namely through an application in the court for an Emergency Protection Order whose outcome may involve the removal of the child from his/her home and his/her placement in the temporary shelters of the Ministry.​

Counselling and psychological support

The CDU offers face-to-face counselling services in Outstations whereby children, victims as well as family members are free to discuss the problems they encounter in a safe and confidential environment. 

The CDU also operates an Intergrated Support Centre running a 24-hour Hot Line Service (113) to provide first hand counselling  and advice to anyone reporting a case of child abuse as well as referal to the police department and CDU Outstations for interventions as appropriate. 

Parenting skills are also conveyed to parents to strengthen the parent-child bond and to help parents better understand their children and vice versa. 

Children and victims of abuse are also provided with psychological support at the level of CDU outstations to help them cope more effectively with life issues.​


Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is the sexual exploitation by an adult of a child or adolescent below 18 years of age that involves a transaction in cash or in kind to the child or to one or more third parties.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children includes:

    • the use of girls and boys in sexual activities remunerated in cash or in kind;
    • trafficking of girls and boys and adolescents for the sextrade;
    • child sex tourism;
    • the production, promotion and distribution of pornography involving children; and
    • the use of children in sexshows (public or private).


The Drop-in-Center:

A Drop-in-Center  is run and managed by the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association (MFPWA) and is monitored by the Child Development Unit.

Cases of sodomy, child prostitution, sexual intercourse under 16, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, abortion, teenage pregnancy, attempt upon chastity, rape and teenage pregnancy are dealt with at the level of the Drop-In-Centre.

​The services offered at the Drop-in-Centre are as follows:

  • Long term counselling and therapy;
  • Monthly medical sessions;
  • Parental Counselling;
  • Couple/Contraceptive Counselling;
  • Monthly home visits to clients;
  • Prevention and sensitization of adolescents/public on sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy;
  • Referral to other NGOs/social aid and other institutions (as and when needed);
  • Echography and clinical services including gynecologist at MFPWA clinic;
  • Laboratory tests (HIV, Pregnancy);
  • Group Activity Therapy (personality development, Art and Craft Therapy, Art Competition in school holidays);
  • Referral to vocational courses through MITD/NEF/HRDC; and
  • Radio Programmes, Networking.


The Residential Drop-in-Centre (GRNW):

  • The Residential Drop-in-Centre ensures better protection and assistance to children victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation in a sustainable manner. It provides adequate, appropriate and safe shelter to child victims of exploitation, provides for opportunities for education as well as family mediation, provides for medical and psychological care in coordination with national health and social services.


Legislations to combat :


  • Childern's Act 2020

b) Trafficking in Person

            • The Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act (2009)​

Trafficking in person
All cases of alleged child trafficking are made known to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare  and recorded at the level of the CDU for social enquiry. The cases are simultaneously reported to the Police for Criminal Enquiry.

Child victims are also provided with immediate and long term protective and support services at the level of the nine CDU Outstations across the island notably, at Goodlands, Flacq, Souillac , Port Louis, Bambous ,Vacoas, Rose Hill, Moka and Plaine Magnien. Protective and supportive services are also provided in the Drop-in-Centre at Port Louis and Residential Centre at Grand Riviere North West (GRNW).

Protective and Supportive Measures

The Protective and Support Services comprise the following -

A Hotline/Helpline 113 for reporting cases of child abuse including Child Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) either anonymously or otherwise;

Joint interviews by the Police and CDU Officers to avoid repeated narrations of incident;

Assistance to victims of child trafficking for medical and Police Medical Examinations as well as HIV testing and pregnancy tests; and

Psycho-social counselling/ Psycho-social support to victims and their families.

There is a close collaboration with the Brigade Pour la Protection de la Famille  and other stakeholders to assist in the identification of victims and providing them support. Brigade Pour la Protection de la Famille carries-out raids in game houses, hotels, nightclubs and also investigate in suspected/alleged cases of child trafficking and CSEC.

Awareness Campaigns on Issue of Child Trafficking: 
  • Regular IEC campaigns are carried out by Officers of the Ministry to sensitise and educate people at different levels about the problem of child trafficking.
  • From January to June 2018, 1811 persons have been sensitised on child protection issues inclusive of child trafficking in primary and secondary schools, social welfare and community centres by officers of the CDU and Psychologist of the Drop in Centre.​

Child Abduction
The Child Development Unit caters also for international child abduction cases. Mauritius adhered to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of  International Child Abduction on 01 October 1993. Officers of the Ministry enforce the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Act 2000. The main objectives of the Convention are to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully retained in another State and see to it that the rights of custody and of access under the law of one Contracting State are effectively respected in another State. The Child Development Unit is the Central Authority for Mauritius and as such has the following duties:
(i)    To provide information on the whereabouts and the social background of the child.
(ii)   To apply to Court for the return of the child as well as securing the effective exercise of the right of the child.
It is also to be noted that in this exercise there is need to constantly liaise with the Central Authority of countries involved under the Hague Convention.
(iii)   Acceptance of accession of contracting parties by member states necessitate amendments of schedules of the Act and this is a regular feature and demands resources.
A high level Steering Committee to monitor the  acceptance of accession of contracting States has been set up. 

Tardy Declaration of Birth

​As per section 14 of the Civil Status Act 1982, provision is made for the father or the mother of a child  to declare the child within 45 days of the birth. In the absence of the parents or when a child is under a court order and place in an institution, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry shall declare the child. 

The Tardy Declaration of Birth Section under the Child Development Unit facilitates the tardy declaration of birth of children only under court order.

The CDU works in close collaboration with other stakeholders, including, the State Law Office, the Civil Status Office, the Police Department, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Judiciary to arrange for the registration of same within the shortest delayThe Tardy Declaration of Birth Section under the Child Development Unit facilitates the tardy declaration of birth of children only under court order.
The CDU works in cl​ose collaboration with other stakeholders, including, the State Law Office, the Civil Status Office, the Police Department, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Judiciary to arrange for the registration of same within the shortest delay

Children whose parents are available and have exceeded the delay for declaration of birth are directed to the District Court to do the procedure for tardy declaration of birth of their children by themselves.

The Parental Empowerment Resource Centre (PERC)

The Parental Empowerment Resource Centre (PERC) has been set-up since December 2022 at the level of the CDU Outstations and it a professionally based multi-disciplinary project.


•Empowering parents with the right knowledge and skills needed to become effective parents and /or caregivers.

•Encouraging alternative ways of disciplining the child to improve the parent / child relationships.

•Focusing on various aspects of early childhood development, education, quality child care, parenting and family support. The Resource Centre will also act as a 'referral center' for parents needing services in the community.

Sharing of responsibilities
The issue of protection and well-being of children is a matter of concern for all. In fact, child protection is the collective responsibility of the whole government and the community at large. Although the primary responsibility for rearing and supporting children should rest with families and communities, government should be seen as providing support where it is needed, either directly or through the funded non-government sector.
A Child Services Coordinating Panel has thus been set under the chairpersonship of the Supervising Officer of this Ministry and will comprise a representative  from the following Ministries/Departments –
(a) Prime Minister’s Office;
(b) Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment;
(c) Ministry of Finance and Economic Development;
(d) Ministry of Education and Human Resources;
(e) Ministry of Youth and Sports;
(f) Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institution;
(g) Ministry of Health and Quality of Life;
(h) Attorney General’s Office;
(i) Ombudsperson for Children’s Office;
(j) Police Department; and
(k) National Children’s Council.
The main objective of this Committee is to look into avenues of collaboration between all parties concerned to ensure rapid intervention in cases involving children. It will also be a forum whereby the roles and responsibilities of each party would be established with a view to giving effect to collective action in dealing with such cases. The discussions held at the level of the High Powered Committee has culminated towards the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between this Ministry and other the Ministries/Department concerned.

National Children’s Council (NCC)
School Child Protection Club (SCPC)
Through the School Child Protection Club (SCPC) children are also sensitised on issues related to teenage pregnancy (and related problems). Children are also exposed to issues pertaining to: relationship bullying, cyber bullying, indiscipline, misconduct, harsh language, aggressive parents towards authority of school, intake of alcohol and smoking, amongst others.

The SCPC is a multi-holistic project which aims to initiating home grown protection clubs for children by children at the level of the School itself. The SCPC is providing a well-structured platform to promote Child Protection to combat violence and indiscipline at school.

Objectives of the SCPC:
  • The School Child Protection Clubs seek to provide a well-structured platform.
  • To develop the skills and competencies to both curtail and combat violence against children ‘a priori’ within the school premises and also to empower the child on the way to contribute towards the creation of a violence free and child friendly environment conducive for the overall development of the child.
  • To conduct in a coherent and systematic approach activities on Child Rights/Child Protection.
  • To address issues against bullying gang violence and discipline.

The ‘Atelier Partage Parents’ in a nutshell  offers adequate and appropriate information regarding child development in general and also prevention from all forms of child violence. Parents will also be apprised of the support services available to respond to the various needs of parents during their different periods of parenting, ranging from pre-birthing to late adolescence through early childhood. 

The ‘Atelier Partage Parents’ are held in Social Welfare centres and Community Centres island wide. The main topics discussed are health, nutrition, rights and responsibilities of children, child violence and parenting and challenges of parenting at the different developmental stages of children from pre-birth to 18 years.

Objectives of the Atelier Partage Parents:
    To enhance the relationship between parents and children in general;
    To remove and reduce intergenerational gaps that leads to conflicts between        parents and children;
    To improve the parenting skills of parents particularly those faring in deprived areas, and are in disadvantaged          circumstances;
    To empower parents with the capacity to manage and develop coping mechanism with regards to their family          problems.

Children's Club

21 children’s Clubs are run islandwide mostly in socially deprived areas. Children 3 years to under 18 years old are members of children’s Clubs.

1. To promote educational activities about norms and values in society.
2. Enhance creative capacity of children by motivating them to participate in creativity workshops.
3. To give them an opportunity to increase their self-esteem.
4. To encourage children to practice outdoor games.
5. To encourage social integration.
6. To carry out welfare and developmental activities so as to prevent child abuse and commercial sexual                  exploitation of children. (CSEC)
From January 2018 to June 2018, 9911 children have participated in the Children’s Club.​

Creativity Centre
A Creativity Centre for children has been set up at Mahebourg. The aim of the project is to have a Creativity Centre similar to the “Bal Bhawan” of India, to serve as a focal point for creativity, recreation and leisure activities for children. This project received the support of the Government of India through the technical assistance of experts. Along with that the following international events are being celebrated:

Day of the African Child (DAC)
The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Children’s Charter/Charter) was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 11 July 1990 and entered into force on 29 November 1999. The Charter establishes the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Committee/Committee), consisting of 11 members of high moral standing, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of the rights and welfare of the child.

In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted the Day of the African Child (DAC) for the first time in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa who marched in protest against the poor quality of education were massacred by the then apartheid regime in place in South Africa.

Since then, African Union has used the DAC to remember these children, to celebrate children in Africa as well as to inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the plethora of challenges that children in Africa face on a daily basis. The African Committee selects the theme for the DAC every year.

Universal Children's Day (UCD)
UCD is a regular feature and is celebrated on a yearly basis on the 20th November.

On 14 November 1954, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children’s Day (UCD), to be observed as a day of fraternity and understanding between children all over the world. This day promotes the ideals and welfare of children.

Capacity Building Programmes
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare provides regular Capacity Building/Training Programme for professionals and other stakeholders working with and for children mainly, on 
  • the Early Childhood Development Programme; 
  • the Commercial Sexual Exploitation; 
  • the Community Child Protection Programme;
  • the different techniques of enquiry and investigation; ​
  • stress managements; 
  • dealing with difficult clients,
  • first aid amongst others and the component on Convention cut across all the Themes elaborated within the training held up till now.. Overall a total number of 5000 persons have been trained in these fields.
 Preventive /IEC/Community Development /Development
The Ministry in collaboration with the National Children`s Council organises a series of activities such as Sports Day ,Colonie des Vacances ,outreach and developmental activities to foster the wefare and participation of children .International/Regional /Days /Events / Campaigns based on the promotion of the rights of the child are celebrated annually , to sensitise adults about children`s rights and their own duties towards them.

Contact Us
Emergency Contact Numbers: 113

Child Protection Services(CPS)Name of Centre and AddressTelephone Number

CPS Goodlands

NPF Building,


 283 7372 / 283 7780


Port Louis

CPS Port Louis

Edith cavell Street,

1st Floor, SILWF Building,

Port Louis

213 0668 / 213 7145 / 49/214 1229



CPS Flacq

2nd Floor, Flacq District Council, Customer Service Centre,


413 1390 / 420 0106



CPS Bambous

Bambous Women Centre

452 5900



CPS Vacoas

John Kennedy Street,

New Municipal Building


 698 3700


MokaBois Cheri Rd , Moka

 434 3916/18


Rose Hill

 NPF Building, 9TH Floor,

Rose Hill, CPS Rose Hill

 460 5907


Plaine Magnien

 CPS Plaine Magnien

Gilbert Rd, Plaine Magnien

 637 2634/637 2631




CPS Souillac

Morc VRS, Souillac​

 625 1353


Child Rehabilitation Section

As a measure of last resort, children at risk in their immediate family environment are placed in Residential  Care Institutions(RCI) following the issue of Court Orders.  The Ministry devise careplans for each child to work with their families  in view of their reinsertion in mainstream society.  There are 14 RCIs run by NGOs and 5 which are Government owned. 

The Ministry ensures that children in RCIs are provided with regular supervised visits with their biologiccal parents and relatives with the purpose of encouraging bonding and maintaining family ties. This eventually leads to their reinsertion their family settings.

Foster care Programme

The Minsitry operates a Foster Care Programme to provide the opportunity for children in Residential Care Institutions to access a substitute family environment. the programme. The roles of the Foster Parents are to provide for financial, emotional, social and spiritual supports to children placed under their care following the issue of Court Orders.
​In January 2022, the Children's Act 2020 was proclaimed and concurrently, the Child (Foster Care) Regulations 2022 became effective.

The Child Mentoring Programme

The Child Mentoring Programme was initiated with a view to catering for children, between the age of 08 to 16 years​ in distress mainly those displaying with mild behavioural problems. They are thus screened and matched with appropriate trained adult Child Mentors for their emotional reconstruction.

Mentoring sessions are held after a Mentoring Order is obtained from the Children`s Court. These sessions are undertaken by holding regular meetings and carrying out indoor activities by the Mentors with the minors.

The Child Mentor plays a crucial role in providing the required support to the minor by giving him/her the opportunity to have the care and guidance of a role model.