Child Protection in Humanitarian Action
CCC Commitments and Benchmarks
Effective leadership is established for both the child protection and gender-based violence (GBV) cluster areas of responsibility, with links to other cluster/sector coordination mechanisms on critical inter-sectoral issues. Support is provided for the establishment of a mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) coordination mechanism.
Both child protection and GBV coordination mechanisms provide guidance to all partners on common standards, strategies and approaches, ensuring that all critical child protection/ GBV gaps and vulnerabilities are identified; information is provided on roles, responsibilities and accountability to ensure that all gaps are addressed without duplication. MHPSS coordination mechanisms are established, with linkages to relevant clusters.
Monitoring and reporting of grave violations and other serious protection concerns regarding children and women are undertaken and systematically trigger response (including advocacy).
Periodic reports on grave violations and other serious protection concerns for children and women are available and utilized.
Key child protection mechanisms are strengthened in emergency-affected areas.
A plan is in place for preventing and responding to major child protection risks, building on existing systems; safe environments are established for the most vulnerable children.
Separation of children from families is prevented and addressed, and family-based care is promoted.
All separated and unaccompanied children are identified and are in family-based care or an appropriate alternative.
Violence, exploitation and abuse of children and women, including GBV, are prevented and addressed.
Affected communities are mobilized to prevent and address violence, exploitation and abuse of children and women; existing systems to respond to the needs of GBV survivors are improved.
Psychosocial support is provided to children and their caregivers.
All child protection programmes integrate psychosocial support in their work, in line with the IASC MHPSS guidelines.
Child recruitment and use, as well as illegal and arbitrary detention, are addressed and prevented for conflict-affected children.
An inter-agency plan is developed and implemented for prevention of and response to child recruitment; advocacy against illegal and arbitrary detention for conflict-affected children is conducted.
The use of landmines and other indiscriminate or illicit weapons by state and non-state actors is prevented, and their impact is addressed.
Children and communities in affected areas have access to mine/ unexploded ordinance risk education and are better protected from the effects of landmines and other indiscriminate and/or illicit weapons.
- Early Recovery
- Clarify the responsibilities of UNICEF and its partners regarding child protection in humanitarian situations.
- Strengthen existing coordination mechanisms to ensure that the response is timely and coordinated, and that it conforms to humanitarian principles and standards. If no coordination mechanisms exist, create mechanisms in collaboration with national authorities. Clarify coordination mechanisms for gender-based violence and mental health and psychosocial support.
- Develop an inter-agency preparedness plan, in consultation with the government, based on identified risks, capacities and resources. Develop performance benchmarks for child protection, GBV and child protection components of MHPSS.
- Train staff and partners about child protection in an emergency, using policies, tools and the CCCs.
- Agree to use global common inter-agency registration, tracing and family reunification forms; develop messages with communities and key actors to prevent family separation and minimize institutionalization; and develop and pre-position family tracing, and reunification and alternative care kits.
- Identify and disseminate relevant legal and regulatory frameworks, response protocols, referral mechanisms and knowledge of social attitudes and values.
- Identify stakeholders, services and partners with the capacity to address violence, exploitation or abuse, including GBV; and build capacity of partners to provide multi-sectoral response services (e.g., health, psychosocial support, security and legal/justice) to victims and survivors.
- Identify key opportunities for integration of psychosocial support into child protection programming, in line with IASC MHPSS guidelines.
- Identify and disseminate information on the international and national standards on minimum age for recruitment in armed forces and groups and, where necessary, advocate for the adoption of international commitments in national legislation.
- Identify and address risk factors that lead to child recruitment as well as the illegal and arbitrary detention of children, and prepare a checklist for armed forces; and raise awareness in detention facilities to prevent violations of children's rights.
- Advocate against the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of landmines and other indiscriminate and/or illicit weapons, and conduct capacity mapping. Build capacities for surveillance and mine risk education.
- Establish long-term agreements for procurement of specific supplies, and pre-position essential supply components.
- Establish, activate and support coordination mechanisms for child protection, GBV and MHPSS in consultation with the government and other partners to coordinate rapid assessment, mapping, funding, strategy development and involvement of affected populations.
- In armed conflict, initiate the establishment of monitoring and reporting mechanisms focused on grave violations against children and sexual violence against both children and women, with a view to developing action plans; and ensure that affected children and women are referred to existing services.
- Support community-based safe environments for women and children, including child-friendly spaces, with particular attention to girls, adolescents and their caregivers, and provide support for early childhood development activities.
- Ensure usage of common registration and tracing forms, and explore usage of the inter-agency child-protection database to identify, register, verify, reunify and follow up on separated and unaccompanied children.
- Advocate immediately for family-based care for separated children, and work to prevent separation during displacement and extreme economic hardship.
- Mobilize children's and women's existing social support networks and support the resumption of age-, gender- and culturally appropriate structured activities for children and women.
- Seek commitments from armed groups and forces to stop or avoid recruiting and using children, in line with the Paris Commitments; negotiate to screen combatants and dependents, and to register, identify and release associated children.
- Advocate against the illegal or arbitrary detention of children, and facilitate access to legal and other assistance for children in contact with the law.
- Identify threats from landmines, other explosive devices and unsecured weapons and munitions. Coordinate and conduct audience-specific mine risk education, and monitor, report on and advocate against the use or presence of indiscriminate, unsecured or illicit weapons and ammunitions.
- Identify and transmit supply input needs to Supply and Logistics.
- Strengthen involvement and/or leadership by government counterparts and other national partners in coordination structures.
- Support partners in identifying, monitoring and reporting on serious protection concerns to trigger response and advocacy.
- Build the capacity of government, community and protection systems for children and women.
- Advocate for and provide technical support on the inclusion of issues pertinent to fulfilling the rights of children and women in ruleof- law and security sector reform; support the resumption and/or strengthening of birth registration systems.
- Initiate systems for safe and supportive kinship and foster care, and advocate against premature adoption; when possible and in the best interest of children, build on existing national social-welfare systems.
- Engage local capacities to address violence and exploitation; and support service providers, law enforcement actors, women's rights groups, communities and children to prevent violence, exploitation and abuse, including GBV.
- Integrate psychosocial support in child-friendly spaces and other protection responses for children and women, and coordinate with and refer to MHPSS in other sectors.
- Initiate release and demobilization for an inclusive, community-oriented approach to reintegration, based on the Paris Principles.
- Initiate non-stigmatizing, community-oriented approaches to social reintegration and livelihood support for vulnerable women and children.
- Initiate integration of mine risk education into existing public awareness and education programmes, and establish prevention, education and survivors' assistance programmes in coordination with partners.
- Initiate a gap analysis of local and national capacities in protecting children and women, and ensure integration of capacity strengthening in early recovery and transition plans, with a focus on risk reduction.
Policy and Standards
Guidelines and Tools
- Cluster Approach