Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is about preventing and responding to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children in humanitarian settings.
Nearly 250 million children in the world today — or 1 in 10 — live in areas affected by armed conflict. 50 million girls and boys are affected by disasters. Children make up over half of the 65 million people currently displaced by war.
Whether caused by armed conflict or a sudden onset natural disaster, an emergency is a time when children face significant protection issues. Children are at risk of injury and disability, physical and sexual violence, psychosocial distress and mental disorders. They may be separated from their families, recruited into armed forces and economically exploited. Refugee, internally displaced and stateless children are especially vulnerable.
Emergency situations can carry on long after the initial crisis has passed. Sustainable solutions build on and strengthen existing structures, so that children are protected in the short and long-term. Child Protection is delivered in a wide variety of humanitarian settings, from the immediate locality of the crisis to refugee and internally displaced people’s facilities.
Children themselves prioritize child protection. Opinion leaders understand that child protection needs are urgent. Strengthening child protection systems is proven to be one of the most cost-effective ways to build resilience and promote sustainable development. Experience repeatedly shows that when children are protected in an effective and holistic manner, other humanitarian efforts are more successful.