Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action
Today, one in four children lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster. Girls and boys face daily risks to their lives and threats to their future physical and mental health. Evidence shows that illness, developmental challenges and even early death are connected to childhood hardship and exposure to violence. Children’s survival, well-being and healthy development are seriously jeopardised in humanitarian settings. Given these immediate and long-term risks, it is an urgent priority for all those working in humanitarian settings to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. While child protection actors play a central role, all sectors need to be involved in preventing and responding holistically to the risks and vulnerabilities that affect girls and boys in crises. Humanitarian efforts must be predictable, swift, well-planned and responsive to children’s and families’ own priorities. Actions need to be grounded in rights, informed by evidence and measurable in their results. It is also essential to strengthen the formal and informal systems that will continue to protect children after the emergency response is over.