Introduction to CPMS e-Course

Welcome! The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPMS).

Course details:

1. Overview

Introduction to Child Protection in Humanitarian Action


Children often make up more than 50% of the population affected by conflicts or disasters around the world. Exploitation, psychosocial distress and separation are but a few of the hardships they suffer in emergency situations. This short animation movie tells the story of seven year old Samira, a child caught up in an emergency and the child protection processes that guide her through it. Specifically, it describes the changes in Samira's life when her town undergoes a crisis, leaving her lost. Child protection workers help her reunite with her family and learn about safety. They give supportive advice and connect her family with additional help so that Samira is not forced to become a labourer and that her mother can also cope with the stresses resulting from the emergency. Samira learns and teaches others about how to keep children safe.

This film was produced to coincide with the launch of the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action which have been developed to support child protection work in humanitarian settings. The standards are intended to be used in disaster preparedness, response and recovery by practitioners, managers, advisers and donors.

Transcript

This is Samira. She’s 7. Her favourite colour is sunny yellow. And this is Samira’s family, whom she loves very much. Things have been unsettled in Samira’s town. Her parents explain what she must do if things ever turn bad. This makes Samira feel safer. One day, Samira’s world turned upside down. Samira couldn’t find her family. She was very scared and confused. Luckily, she knew who to ask for help. The child protection worker took lots of notes and reassured her and made sure that she was safe by taking her to the new community center. Together they went to a place where help was available, and Samira recognized other people that she knew. [The center felt safe. There were even people there that Samira already knew.] A kind nurse asked her if she was feeling ok, gave her some lunch, and in the meanwhile someone got to work finding her mother and father. And they were soon reunited. So now Samira’s town has changed and there are dangers. 

The other day, Samira’s brother lost his ball. He wanted to go and get it back. But luckily, Samira remembered how dangerous it was to go near ruined buildings. Actually, it was Samira’s new school teacher who had explained the possible dangers. Luckily Samira had stayed on at school, even though it was a bit different from before.  In fact just after the emergency, all it was was a tent with a friendly supervisor and a safe space to play. Things could have been very different, Samira nearly didn’t go back to school. Her father had been injured, and her mother just couldn’t make ends meet. It looked like Samira would have to go to work. The man in the café said she would also have to sleep there and he would take care of heror he could arrange for her to work for his associates. Luckily, just at the right moment, Samira’s mummy got the extra help and information she needed and Samira was able to stay with her family. Sometimes even Samira's mother doesn't feel so sunny yellow but she's had someone to talk to and that’s helped her deal with the stress of the situation and she's also learned some ways to make sure that despite all the changes, her children still feel loved and cared for, and that they carry on growing and learning, just as all children should. So, on balance, Samira’s doing ok. Her community is getting itself back on its feet. The people around her protect her. She protects herself and she protects others. 

Child Protection in Emergencies means ensuring that violence, exploitation and abuse don't happen. And when they do, it means taking action. Undoing the harm that's been done. And getting children as quickly as possible back to safety and a loving family, where they can grow and learn. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of people and a lot of time, but every day, all around the world, child protection in emergencies saves lives.

Introduction to the CPMS

Transcript

LESLIE:

…the minimum standards play a key role working to improve quality and accountability of child protection programming. They allow for a number of things: for clear basis for coordination, for expectations of appropriate responses, and for improved monitoring and reports. Perhaps the most important thing is that they do not exist in isolation. They have become an important component of the toolkit for humanitarian action.

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NARRATOR

The Child Protection Working Group is the global coordination body for protecting boys and girls in humanitarian settings. In 2012, it launched the child protection minimum standards. Each standard was drafted by a team of experts and peer-reviewed. During the 2-year process, over 400 people from 30 agencies and governments participated. The CPMS build on other global and national standards, and are recognized as a companion to the Sphere Standards. Within a year, they were available in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Pashtu and Korean; and with your help, that list will grow as the roll-out continues! Available as a handbook and on-line, the simple and colour-coded structure of the Minimum Standards makes them easy to navigate.

Beginning with key principles and approaches, they contain standards for:

  • A quality response
  • For addressing needs
  • For developing adequate strategies
  • And, for mainstreaming child protection into other humanitarian work

Under each standard, you find background information on the topic, the standard itself (in one or two sentences), key actions in the preparedness or response phase, outcome and action indicators to measure your efforts, notes to guide the work, and a reference list.

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HANI:

The minimum standards is not necessarily geared towards a specific type of organization. It can be for small organizations, a community-based organization, or a large international organization. It could be for an organization who is specialised in child protection or for an organization who doesn’t normally do child protection in emergencies, but does WASH or health and wants to integrate the idea of child protection or the protection of children in their programs.

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NARRATOR

Indeed, it is essential that child protection staff and other humanitarian colleagues collaborate on applying the CPMS to reduce our shared risk of harming boys and girls.

The Minimum Standards aim to improve overall effectiveness and accountability.  They are a powerful tool for letting children, communities, as well as government, hold all humanitarian actors accountable. The CPWG has a variety of tips and materials to help you communicate and generate feedback on the standards.

The Minimum Standards aim to improve overall effectiveness and accountability.  

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GEOFFREY:

In Liberia, where I was part of the response for Ivorian refugees crisis recently..in line with principle five, we setup suggestion boxes as part of the complaints response mechanism in all the child-friendly spaces and schools in which Save the Children had programs.  Through this mechanism, the children provided a lot of useful information which then led to adjustments in the time and schedule of activities we ran in these camps, as well as numbers and gender of the CFS facilitators we hired..hence, making the interventions more successful.

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NARRATOR

There is a clear need to increase the sector’s effectiveness by producing a solid evidence base. Thus, the CPMS both clarify how we measure the impacts of our work, and provide sample indicators.

The CPMS are for all stages of humanitarian action. You should apply them in preparedness, response and early recovery efforts, and to prevent violations of children’s right to protection.

So, to sum up, why are the CPMS central to humanitarian work?

It’s because:

  • they have changed how children are provided protection in an emergency
  • as a Sphere companion, they hold all humanitarian actors accountable
  • and because they must be applied to prevent violations from happening, to respond to those which have, and to be prepared for an emergency.

In using them, you will find that they are a practical, inter-agency tool. They are easy to navigate, and, working with colleagues, can be adapted to your context.

So child protection minimum standards provide a benchmark and a common frame of reference for all practitioners. It’s a culmination of lessons that were learned by many practitioners, in different contexts and different emergencies that are all coming together and handed to us as a gift.

 The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action represent the foundation for further development of the child protection sector and exist to improve our practice. Each of us taking up the challenge to apply them will improve protection results for boys and girls.

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Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, child and youth-friendly versions, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards

2. Principles and approaches

Ten Principles

Transcript

The CPMS put the principles that guide the protection of girls and boys right at the centre of our work.  Do you know all 10?

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stresses:

  • survival and development
  • non-discrimination
  • child participation
  • and the best interests of the child

The Sphere Handbook has contributed the principles of:

  • do no harm
  • ensure access to impartial assistance
  • protect people from harm owing to violence and coercion
  • and help them claim their rights, access remedies and recover from the effects of abuse

But the CPMS go further and state that through our humanitarian work, it is also our duty to:

  • strengthen the systems that protect girls and boys
  • and strengthen children’s own resilience


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MAKIBA:

Sometimes our field staff members are under enormous pressure of responding immediately and jumping into the response without consulting enough with existing actors and existing systems on the ground. These standards of principle number five really helped our colleagues to identify what is existing in the country as a child protection system to support the system on the ground, in the community, in the government systems.

3. Standards to ensure a quality child protection response

Child Protection Response Standards

These standards focus on key programming components, including:

  • Coordination
  • Human resources
  • Communication, advocacy and media
  • Program cycle management
  • Information management
  • Child protection monitoring

They do not aim to replace the existing policies and tools on these issues, but rather to provide a child protection-oriented view of each area of work.

4. Standards to address child protection needs

Child protection needs

Standards in this area cover the core areas of work and critical issues in child protection:

  • Dangers and injuries
  • Physical violence and other harmful practices
  • Sexual violence
  • Psychological distress and mental disorders
  • Children associated with armed forces or armed groups
  • Child labour
  • Unaccompanied and separated children
  • Justice for children

Standard 7: Dangers and injuries

Transcript

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are part of a Global Humanitarian Standards Partnership, which includes Sphere, INEE and others.

This video examines Standard 7 – Dangers and Injuries

 For other instalments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

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Children everywhere love to play and explore. It’s an intrinsic part of child and adolescent development. After a crisis, it’s important for things to get back to normal. Play and curiosity are necessary for recovery. Surrounded by chaos and destruction, girls and boys seek out new places to play and new ways to carry out their daily tasks. Many emergencies lead to children being displaced into new environments or needing to navigate altered contexts where there are heightened physical dangers. These dangers will vary by situation - and often by age. However, careful consideration should always be given to children with disabilities and the under 5s. Children’s safety within these new environments is often made worse by inadequate supervision.

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Sarah has been working for an NGO as a child protection officer for 5 years. Recently, fighting broke out in her area. The organisation set up a programme to help children affected by the emergency, and her responsibilities are changing. Using the findings from the initial, multi-sector assessment, Sarah and her colleagues decide to prioritise Child Friendly Spaces and family separation.

After talking to a health colleague a few weeks later, Sarah realises that a large number of children are being injured in their daily activities. She is struck by how dangerous the IDP camp is for children and that many boys and girls are getting hurt.

When the child protection sector starts to organise a more in-depth assessment, she lobbies to include something about physical dangers. Her colleagues disagree, as they feel it doesn’t relate to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

Sarah is adamant, however, as she knows that children are unintentionally killed and injured frequently in the emergency setting. To her, this directly underscores the life-saving nature of Child Protection. To bolster her argument, she turns to the CPMS, and their ten guiding principles. These must be the basis of our efforts.

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The child protection minimum standards to dangers and injuries help us to design the assessment and identify the children who are in need, as well as the risks present in the community to the children.

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Standard 7 states: Girls and boys are protected against harm, injury and disability caused by physical dangers in their environment, and the physical and psychosocial needs of injured children are responded to in a timely and efficient way. The standard highlights drowning, falling, burns, road traffic, wild animals, sharp objects, exposure to hazardous waste, damaged infrastructure, weapons, and explosive remnants of war - including landmines.

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It is very important that Child Protection actors should collect age and gender appropriate information, as well as the specific risks present in the community, which may cause dangers and injuries for the children.

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Returning to Sarah’s experience. She realises that girls and boys are concerned about a wider range of dangers than her team have previously considered. As the NGO has the child-friendly spaces already set up, the workers think this is a great opportunity to discuss the issue further with children. Here is an example of such work in Pakistan.

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We did consultation with children; we did FGD where they did some community risk mapping, but they also did focus group discussions about what were the biggest dangers for them and their communities. And it was really interesting we separated the boys and girls and we separated the age groups as well, and they spoke about how their environment had completely changed and how they were more exposed to being out and isolated in areas where they didn't normally play in, that had completely changed because of the flood, so there was a lot of water around, they maybe didn't have the ability to swim, or they were worried about other animals, snakes, and also just about being isolated.

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Data from different sources needs to be collated and compared to identify the patterns and extent of dangers.

As child protection actors, we need to draw on the monitoring systems of colleagues in sectors such as health, shelter, and camp management. A joint, robust analysis is vital for advocacy, awareness-raising, and prevention efforts.

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We can do assessments where we gather this information about what dangers there are for children and we can really take this as an opportunity to pass that to other sectors, and to really embed things into their programming. So we have to be super strong in making sure that we are at other cluster meetings, that we’re going in speaking to the key actors who can help with dangers and safety.

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There is also a need to have a very strong referral mechanism with the engagement of different organisations as well as other sectors.

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Addressing dangers and injuries needs the strong commitment of a range of actors. In collaborating with different government and non-governmental actors, Sarah realises that common procedures would provide clarity. So together they integrate dangers and injuries into existing humanitarian interventions, including child protection itself, camp management, and WASH.  They start the dialogue by focusing on the principle of Do No Harm. Here’s what actually happened in one IDP camp after 2 children fell into a badly-constructed pit latrine and died.Addressing dangers and injuries needs the strong commitment of a range of actors. In collaborating with different government and non-governmental actors, Sarah realises that common procedures would provide clarity. So together they integrate dangers and injuries into existing humanitarian interventions, including child protection itself, camp management, and WASH.  They start the dialogue by focusing on the principle of Do No Harm. Here’s what actually happened in one IDP camp after 2 children fell into a badly-constructed pit latrine and died.

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So we really worked with the WASH sector to do an assessment of the communities involving women, children, the parents, boys and girls on where they'd been playing and what they felt the dangers were, but what did they think the strategies were to try and make a safer community. So we went through some of those options and the WASH sector from this, they put in a much more thorough monitoring of the pit latrines, they were out every day checking the quality of the construction and amending it where needed. But also for us, our child protection groups were starting to report to the camp management committees. We did incident reporting, and they really took down all the data, and we used that data to check if things were improving using this strategy and actually they were.

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In Sarah’s context, the child protection coordination group decides that community-based structures, Child Friendly Spaces and case management are its best entry points.  The case management task team revises its standard operating procedures, so that injured and disabled children could more easily access the referral mechanism and suitable services.

Sarah’s team works hard to improve the child-friendly spaces they run. They want to make them safer, as well as more inclusive for children with new or pre-existing disabilities and injuries.

Re-designed activities reach parents and children with prevention strategies.

Mine action colleagues work with the children to recognise those dangers and how to keep safe.

The team facilitates discussions between community leaders, women’s groups, and parents and children, who decide to take further action. They go into the community and supervise the places where children play guiding them to safer areas. They also use religious sermons and community theatre to promote key messages.

Here’s one example of how a displaced community reacted to a children’s performance to raise awareness. It describes an incident where a young child died after being left unattended next to a fire.

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After that a woman takes the floor and said - in Sango the local language - this job of sensitisation of taking care of children or watching after children to avoid dangers and injuries to them is not the business of women only. It’s the business of also men and everybody in the community should be involved so that we can avoid putting children in danger, and she said girls or boys, they shouldn't be the ones who are cooking or are doing the job in the place of the men and women, and the elders.

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As part of her case work, Sarah encounters a 9 year old boy with a complex fracture. When his father was killed in the fighting, he had started to work in a garage to support his mother and younger sisters. There he had broken his shoulder.

His exhausted mother tells how he is in pain, crying at night and unable to leave the tent. His physical and psychological distress are clear.

 Sarah works with the community health team to provide the boy with better pain management. As his trust in her grows, he is able to talk with her about his more difficult experiences. After a few weeks, he welcomes a visit from members of the children’s club and eventually starts to attend himself. Sarah is also able to refer the family to a livelihoods project that has a child care component, which means the boy’s mother could work.

It is important to note that injury encompasses both physical and invisible impact on children. So humanitarian actors need to work for physical and mental injury children have experienced.

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Sarah’s experience taught her that the emergency created new physical risks and exacerbated old ones. It also affected families’ ability to cope with the changed environment. However, she realised that community members of all ages were best placed to identify risks and provide solutions to improve children’s safety.

Every day, children in emergencies are confronted by physical dangers which kill and injure them.  As humanitarians we must take action on this under-recognised issue.

Working together to adapt and implement the CPMS to our contexts, we can save lives and reduce suffering!

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Other instalments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, and training packages.

For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards.

Standard 8: Physical violence and other harmful practices

Transcript

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are part of a Global Humanitarian Standards Partnership, which includes Sphere, I N E E and others.

This video examines Standard 8 – Physical Violence and Other Harmful Practices

 For other installments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

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In every country and culture, girls and boys are at risk of experiencing physical violence – from adults, and from their peers. They also face harmful practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation or cutting.

In humanitarian settings, children’s risk of exposure to these - and other forms of violence - increase in the home, community and school.

More and more children in conflict zones are also subjected to extreme forms of physical violence. These may include killing, maiming, torture, abduction or being used as human shields.  In addition, armed actors have carried out direct attacks on schools and hospitals, further exposing children to significant risk of injury and death.

Standard 8 reads:

Girls and boys are protected from physical violence and other harmful practices, and survivors have access to age-specific and culturally appropriate responses.

This video focuses on children’s experiences of every-day violence and harmful practices in humanitarian settings. For more information on other forms of conflict-related violence go to: www.childrenandarmedconflict.un.org

Let’s hear some of the experiences of child protection practitioners.

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What we have seen is that there is increasing violence. So while 3, 4 years ago when children first arrived from Syria the primary thing that we were dealing with was post traumatic stress or stress from the violence that they had lived from the war that they were fleeing when they came here.

Now they are settled here in very difficult conditions and those conditions are putting intense pressures on the family so children are actually growing up in incredibly violent households.

This is immediately reflected in the schools. When you go and you ask school teachers they will tell you the Syrian children who are in the 2nd shift are the ones that are experiencing the most violence. It’s not because they are naturally violent. It’s because stress just continues to go and go and go.

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The combined factors of poor living conditions, disruption in economic activities, loss of income compel families to adopt negative coping mechanisms which put children at risk for trafficking, labour and child marriage as well. And girls are particularly at risk of these child protection issues. Child marriage [is] viewed by the family as a means to protect their girls from the risk of sexual violence as well as a means to reduce the economic burden.

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Although the risks of physical violence are known, and are believed to increase in humanitarian contexts, precise prevalence rates are difficult to determine. This is due to the large number of cases that are not reported to the authorities. In fact in many emergencies, there is simply no functioning system to report to.

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Vulnerability to children in a protracted crisis is the fact that government structures and other protective community structures have broken down. So the community is actually vulnerable to a lot of shocks that affect them.

Girls and boys and even their caregivers have absolutely nowhere to report some of the problems that come up.

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However, an example in post-earthquake New Zealand points to how a resilient system was able to capture a 20% increase in reported child abuse cases.  

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Boys’ and girls’ reactions to physical violence vary. However, research suggests it increases their likelihood of experiencing both short-term and long-term negative effects. The impacts might be on their health, education, and social and emotional wellbeing.

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It not only has short term impact on child development but may also lead to problems in the adulthood. Corporal punishment and the violence from the parents at home affects the physical and mental development of the children. It also results in poorer social relationship with the families and the peers.

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The social acceptance of some forms of physical violence against children is a major factor in its continuation. Yet there are proven strategies to alleviate this suffering and break the cycles of violence. We need to build or strengthen existing Child Protection systems in order to promote effective and holistic prevention and response mechanisms.  One way of doing this is to work with people closest to the child, such as families and community structures, and to link these to the formal child protection mechanisms.

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Community groups need to be trained on these referral mechanisms so they can refer the children to the appropriate services. These services need to be age and gender appropriate and sensitive to the children.

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Developing interventions to address harmful social and cultural norms is an essential prevention strategy. It is also a way to increase the level of community support to survivors.

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The only way to work on this is actually to work very closely with the community. And then within the community you need to really figure out which influential group you can work with and who can make a difference in actually changing the attitude and practice.

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Prevention and response measures can be woven into case management systems, training for teachers and school administrators, as well as the programming that occurs in child-friendly spaces.

Another approach to prevent and respond to cases of violence in the home is parenting skills training.  This entails a series of structured or semi-structured sessions led by child protection workers or trained peers. The goals are to provide parents and caregivers with support and concrete ideas to reduce stress, as well as to develop positive parenting strategies.

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For example, in one programme in northern Syria, 78% of parents who participated in skills sessions reported a reduction in their use of violent discipline.

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Now the parenting skills session increases awareness regarding psychosocial distress. It helps parents to cope with the stress better and enhances the parental-child relation by using certain techniques.

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We need to not just work with children. We are going to have to try to address the overall family - the violence as a family as a whole if we really want to able to support children going forward.

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A strong child protection system is equipped to prevent physical violence and other harmful practices, as well as to identify and respond to cases when they occur.  This requires us to work closely with other humanitarian sectors, collaborate with relevant stakeholders across different levels of society, and mobilise a broad range of actors, including children themselves.

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So basically you need to really look at the community and work with the religious leaders, work with the youth groups, work with the teachers, work with the health system, and work with the legal system. Because it has to be a multi-sector intervention which involves all the actors in the community.

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To address physical violence and other harmful practices, we need to mainstream child protection into the wider humanitarian response. The mainstreaming standards in the CPMS provide us with good guidance. Here’s one perspective from Lebanon.

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If we really want to impact children’s lives and the violence in the family as well as at work, we need to look at livelihoods. Here we have seen that there is an increased violence in the family. This is a direct result of families not being able to feel safe earn a living and be able to provide. So working in those sectors to be able to provide families with greater livelihoods or youth with more appropriate livelihoods is a key link that we have to make if we want to be able to respond to violence against children.

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Tackling physical violence and other harmful practices in a humanitarian setting can feel overwhelming. However, it is our fundamental duty to protect girls and boys. With carefully planned interventions we can prevent and respond to this issue. Minimum Standard 8 provides us with many concrete steps and considerations.

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Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum–standards.

Standard 9: Sexual violence

Transcript

NARRATOR

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are one of the companions to the Sphere Standards.

This video examines Standard 9 – Sexual Violence

 For other installments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

In every emergency situation, children – especially girls - experience various forms of sexual violence; in fact the risk increases. Sexual violence is any form of sexual activity with a child by an adult, or by another child who has power over the child. It includes rape, sexual touching, exposing children to pornography, prostitution and much more.

That violence may come from strangers or armed actors, but often it comes from people they know and those who are supposed to protect them – their family members, teachers, community leaders.

The consequences are wide ranging and affect their physical, emotional and social well-being. It may be very difficult for a child to talk about or even understand what they have experienced. Indeed they may feel unsafe, especially if the perpetrator is someone they know.

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YASMIN: 44:42-44:54

And also assume that sexual violence is taking place and that is a serious and life threatening protection issue regardless of the presence of concrete and reliable evidence.

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ABBY: 00:09 - 00:39

What is essential for child protection actors …  is to create an environment of safety, care, and comfort for a child who’s disclosed sexual violence. Children who are already existing in very very difficult circumstances, whether it’s a natural disaster, whether there’s conflict and war surrounding them who then have the additional experience of sexual violence…are very fragile… they are in need of very important care.

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NARRATOR

Standard 9 states: Girls and boys are protected from sexual violence, and survivors of sexual violence have access to age-appropriate information, as well as a safe, responsive and holistic response.

It emphasises that both response and prevention are important components of our work on sexual violence against girls and boys. The key actions remind you to assess and identify which children are particularly vulnerable in your context, such as those with mental or physical disabilities or who are separated from their parents or caregivers.

Central to that work is understanding that  we - as Child Protection and GBV actors - interact with child survivors impacts their ability to heal. Our interaction must be in line with the 10 overarching principles that guide the CPMS.

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YASMIN: 44:56-45:05

As a new CPiE worker I can help in the healing process of the child survivor of sexual violence by believing in her or in him…

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AUGUSTIN: 48:23-48:39 + 47:58-48:20  

The attitude of the service provider first of all contributes so much to … the healing … and recovery process of the survivor. So to say that we are compassionate and non judgmental we are trying to promote easy and quick healing…. Judging might even be from the questions that you ask a survivor; for instance, a person … mentions where they experienced the incident. It would be wrong …to ask “why did you go there?” Such questions are blaming and judgmental…

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FATUMA: 1:06:50 – 1:07:23

A new case worker who is going to work with a child who is a survivor of sexual violence should have empathy – an understanding of what the child has gone through and in fact putting himself or herself in the child’s shoes.

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ABBEY: 00:56 – 1:52

One of the most important and impactful things … when that child first discloses that they’ve experienced sexual violence…is to believe the child. Is to fundamentally accept what the child says, believe them, reassure the child that it’s not their fault, and create an environment of care, compassion, and safety. When that trust is there, then a child will begin to feel safe to open up, to share more about their experience, which is fundamental…for the helper to know, because … it’s going to be essential for the helper to connect the child to needed services.

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NARRATOR

Girls and boys who experience sexual violence require a variety of services. These often include health care, psycho-social support, safety, or legal assistance.

As a child protection staff, you should be aware of what services exist.

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FATUMA: 1:11:59 - 1:12:43

…So understanding … the resources and how you can use them to support the kind of… service you are going to give this child is really really important and … practical. And then you may need to actually have some kind of agreement  so when you eventually have to go there they may … fast-track the service, make sure the child is comfortable,

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NARRATOR

Service providers often make use of a “referral pathway” to quickly see which other services are available and appropriate for girl and boy survivors of sexual violence. It includes their location, hours of operation and contact people.

Service mapping is an important tool in building that pathway. It is done by:

  • Consulting the community,
  • Visiting services to ask questions,
  • Talking to staff, and
  • Observing the environment.

You do this to ensure that information entered into the pathway is accurate and up to date and that the services offered are appropriate for girls and boys of different ages.

It is vital that all humanitarian staff no matter the sector see themselves as playing a role in the support and protection of girls and boys who experience sexual violence. This may mean knowing how to offer immediate support to a child by listening to and believing them, and then connecting them to trained child protection or health staff for further support.

Coordination between service providers is crucial in building the systems necessary to prevent sexual violence and to protect and care for children. It also increases the sustainability of these structures. Often it is child protection staff who ensure coordination mechanisms are in place. Indeed, failing to coordinate effectively can result in harm.

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YASMIN: 45:59 – 46:20

It is important that referral pathways are functional in an emergency and this referral should be confidential to ensure that the child survivor of sexual violence is not put to greater risk and will not be exposed to stigmatization and ridicule and most importantly to preserve their dignity as a person.

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MELINDA: 37:38 - 38:19

… if we don’t have a concrete and very good referral pathway we will be encouraging the abused child to keep silent. we will… interview him she will be referred to another office, another interview …the same process. It is very difficult… for a child who has been abused to be asked the same questions over and over again.

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NARRATOR

An emergency can feel overwhelming for everyone, including humanitarian staff. In addition to the heavy workload and stress, it is hard to bear witness to the suffering of individual children and families. Preparedness can help us cope and be more effective in our work. It might include ensuring coordination mechanisms and Standard Operating Procedures are in place, as well as supporting community awareness or holding emergency-focused training.

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FATUMA: 01:13:08 - 01:13:32

In many cases when you are new to the work, you tend to panic. So having this preparation before helps you to reduce the panic in you and when you see it is a child, the suffering has a way of affecting you psychologically. So if you are prepared you know your environment, you know the people you can actually work with. It is really helpful.

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ABBEY: 9:11-9:36

…in the Caring for Child Survivors Guidelines that UNICEF and the IRC created, we actually have a self-assessment that staff can use to really examine what beliefs and values are important for children and to get a sense of there areas that I am still personally struggling with around values and beliefs that could impact how I provide a child care.

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NARRATOR

Helping child survivors of sexual violence is not the job of one person --- it requires the time and energy of humanitarian and government staff from different sectors and agencies. We must work together as a team with clear roles and responsibilities.

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JAMES: 59:54 - 1:00:57

none of these actors singlehandedly can respond… All the actors came together they were able to sit and discuss best options. … That made it so easy for us… to know like who is doing what and also at the same time where to refer these cases. And most importantly at the end… we were able to refer this child and this child was able to get that psychosocial support…

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ABBEY: 25:55 - 26:45

In this context that I was working in … we had both child protection staff in the community working and staff working on cases of gender-based violence. It is for those 2 agencies together to develop an agreement or a really explicit understanding of how they work together. I found that often times it was confusing to know which agency should kind of be the lead case management agency for a child…. So I think it is really helpful for the CP and the GBV actors in that particular setting to talk with one another and maybe have a more in-depth conversation about how they want to work together to help a child.

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FATUMA: 1:23:59 – 1:24:22

So it is becoming very clear there are many different things we can do with different sectors. What is really important is working with them over time so that this becomes like a natural reaction to them that if something happens to a child they are able to provide the support without you … being there.

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NARRATOR

As we have seen, every day, girls and boys experience sexual violence. This is always exacerbated in an emergency. Through your efforts and care, you can do something to help them begin to heal.

Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards

Standard 10: Psychosocial distress and mental disorders

Transcript:

NARRATOR

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are one of the companions to the Sphere Standards.

This video examines Standard 10 – Psychosocial distress and mental disorders.

Standard 10 states that “Girls’ and boys’ coping mechanisms and resilience are strengthened ---- and severely affected children are receiving appropriate support. “

Let’s explore a few common terms.

  • Mental Health and Psychosocial support or MHPSS highlights the need for diverse and complementary approaches from both health & child protection professionals, as well as others.
  • Coping mechanism refers to the process of adapting to a new life situation, managing difficult circumstances, and trying to reduce stress.

 A child’s coping mechanism, life skills, family relationships and his or her environment will have a direct impact on individual resilience. This is the capacity to face, overcome, and even be strengthened by the adversities of life. It is also known as the power to bounce back.

The resilience of an individual child or community can be strengthened ahead of a crisis, as can the capacity of an agency. Child Protection actors should prepare for disaster; for example, map MHPSS services and create a referral pathway. However too often, such measures are not in place when an emergency strikes. We know that the psycho-social wellbeing of many children and communities who live through a disaster will be affected. However, the length and severity of a child’s reaction will vary. These variances stem from a number of factors, such as his or her stage of development, inherent coping mechanisms, family support, etc.

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NANCY:  00:40: 49 - 00:41:05

…we recognize that in fact for most children they don’t develop mental health problems; they don’t develop unusual symptoms of distress … they develop symptoms of distress but we expect them because they have just been through a terrible time.

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NADINE: 1:09:17 - 1:09:52

This is why having psychosocial support is necessary in such times, as it provides the children with a safe space and a better community ... They receive all the support they need whether it is Education, Psychosocial support, mental health...hygiene… or nutrition issues.

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NARRATOR

Indeed all humanitarian actors have the opportunity and duty to relieve the psychological distress of emergency-affected communities. This is often achieved by small adjustments to how one works.

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LASU : 00: 12: 21 - 00:13: 04

because of the flood there was famine. We will know that out of this famine people will be affected psychologically. And therefore there is need … to address the Psychological needs, as well as the famine and hunger.

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NARRATOR

Ananda Galapatti explains what happened when the set-up for latrines and washing in one Sri Lankan IDP camp caused distress amongst some women and girls.

ANANDA: 00:20:53 à 00:21:23 

One of the ways in which MHPSS actors integrated some of these concerns that were clearly impacting on the wellbeing of the people in the camps was to work closely with the Water and sanitation providers to actually consult with women, men and very importantly children around what the most appropriate places might be to place the toilets.

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NARRATOR

MHPSS can include a wide range of interventions and approaches. The InterAgency Standing Committee’s intervention pyramid shows the multilayered support that meets the needs of different groups. All layers are important and should ideally be implemented at the same time.

The first level aims to meet basic survival needs and ensure that safety and security have returned. The way these services are provided should take into consideration Mental Health and Psychosocial wellbeing. Most children and adolescents will go back to functioning normally, without professional help when these basic needs are met.

However, some children may need specific assistance to restore the usual protective factors. This could mean giving them a safe place where they can play again with their peers and relieve stress.

The third layer represents the still smaller number of children (for example, survivors of sexual violence or recruitment) who need focused individual, family or group support. This might be psychological first aid, structured psychosocial groups with children or parents, etc.

The top layer of the pyramid represents approximately 5% of the population who, despite the support already mentioned, need specialized services. Though this seems small, when 100.000 people are displaced that equates to 5000 new individuals. These children may for example have pre-existing mental health disorders worsened by the disaster.

Our goal is to strengthen the ability of families and communities to support one another. Girls, boys, women and men should be active partners in decisions that affect their lives – for example, involvement in relief efforts, initiatives for older children to work with younger ones, parent committees, re-establishment of traditional community support mechanisms.

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NANCY: 29:58 - 30:52 (edit) 

Our goal is facilitate natural systems, to facilitate family and communities to take care of their own children. Then it is easier to say I need to talk to the families and communities. …So I think it is how we begin and how we explain to workers …what our actual role is… Our standards clearly talk about …helping people to help themselves.

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NARRATOR

As we saw, MHPSS interventions aim to strengthen resilience and coping mechanisms. These are often difficult to measure. 

However, to ensure quality programming we must use rigorous approaches to M&E and adopt evidence-based best practices.

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ANANDA: 00:02:45 à 00:04:05

The key elements of a good MHPSS programme are firstly that the programme be developed based on an accurate and systematic assessment of the needs and priorities for children in the community.

Secondly, that the programme builds on and mobilises resources that exist in the community but also supplement these where necessary.

A programme needs to be attentive to the fact that services and supports need to be sustainable

A good M&E system is vital and will help a programme to both reorient to changing needs over time but also improve where it is failing to meet needs.

A key element that is required is staff that are appropriately skilled and have the knowledge required to intervene with potentially vulnerable children and their families

 These Human resources also need the technical and personal support required to work in what are often very difficult circumstances.

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NARRATOR

Children should be involved at all stages of our work, even with M&E.

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LASU: 05:20 -  6:35 

We have a child-led process of M&E and one particular thing that children do in monitoring the intervention is to set their own goals … They monitor the progress of this goal right from the beginning to the end…

 At the end of the module, the children evaluate the session and how it went, what they have learnt…, what they feel should be improved and what they feel is ok For example, they were able to give …suggestions that certain games do not apply in our context…

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NARRATOR

We often don’t acknowledge that we as humanitarian staff also experience psychosocial distress. Regular supervision for ourselves and our colleagues will help us cope and continue our work most effectively

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NANCY: 39:39 - 40.26

Get up every morning and think about what you can do today. Talk about it with colleagues – about what you can do. I think trying to work in isolation is another mistake in the field. It is recognizing that you should have colleagues… You should share your distress because everyone has the same distress. It is a matter of being part of a team. It’s about trying to work together to manage a very very difficult situation.

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NARRATOR

In sum, Mental Health and Psychosocial support should be an integral element of humanitarian intervention. Our primary approach is to facilitate children, families and communities to take an active part in rebuilding their lives.

Poor quality programming can also do harm, so be rigorous and accountable in your work, create a robust M&E system and provide regular staff supervision.

For resources beyond the CPMS, refer to the CPWG’s website or mhpss.net

And finally, as People in Aid reported “One of the central factors in the success of humanitarian action has been the dedication of staff – ordinary people doing extraordinary things ». Take care of yourself and your colleagues by putting in place practical, personal support measures.

Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation and training packages. 

For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards and mhpss.net.

Standard 11: Children associated with armed forces or armed groups

Transcript

NARRATOR

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are one of the companions to the Sphere Standards.

This video examines Standard 11 – Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups

 For other installments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

Around the world, boys and girls are recruited and used by armed forces or groups as combatants, spies, porters, informants, or for sexual purposes. This can have multiple and complex effects.

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MEGHAN: 01:28:48:00 - 01:29:34:08   

…we’re talking about things like physical …injury… and disability sometimes …long-lasting or even permanent. We’re talking about the physical, psychological … effects of... sexual violence… with… girls and boys. children born of rape and the needs that those children …will have… about long-term family separation; … access to education being interrupted for years on end …and great difficulty for many of these children in return and reintegration…

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NARRATOR

Our global standard states: Boys and girls are protected from recruitment and use in hostilities by armed forces or armed groups, and are released and provided with effective reintegration services.

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MEGHAN: 01:15:58:21 - 01:16:38  (00:40)

The standard on children associated with armed forces and armed groups has already become an integral part of what we call the protection toolbox in the organisation that I work within. We use it to inform our work… in terms of dialogue with parties to armed conflict, be they armed forces or armed groups at local, regional or national levels…

And certainly we’ve integrated it into our training and capacity-building for colleagues who work in field contexts…

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NARRATOR

Creating a broader awareness of rights, needs and responsibilities – at all levels – has a positive effect on prevention of recruitment and related social change.

Knowledge and understanding are catalysts for change. Families, local activists, community and military leaders can all make a difference, if the legal and other arguments against children’s participation in conflict are more widely known, and understood.

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ESTHER: 00:06:52:00 - 00:07:00:00 

You have to engage the communities, you have to engage children themselves. They should know about their rights in order to fight for them.

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MARCO: 00:33:31:04 - 00:33:47:16 

The non-governmental organizations and the involvement of faith-based organizations, and even youth groups are very important. In one of the projects that we did it was already a youth group advocating with their peers that they have a right for protection.

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NARRATOR

Working with communities and developing messages together should be done early and often, and can add value anytime. Information sharing empowers communities. And shifts in policy at a national level can result from, and be reinforced by local awareness-raising.

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MARCO: 00:30:12:00 - 00:30:35:07

… Although we have national laws which prevent the recruitment of children in armed groups, these are not really translated into action, or are not translated into legislation at the municipal, city or “Barangay” level. So at that point what we did was… educating local leaders that their children have the right not to be recruited into these armed groups.

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NARRATOR

Prevention is a multi-layered process, which needs adequate resourcing. It should draw in children and their families, as well as armed actors, local activists, communities, peacekeepers, donors, and governments themselves.

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MEGHAN: 01:20:10:00 - 01:20:36:05

The minimum standard … sets out a number of practical and sustainable measures that can be integrated into any strategy that's aimed at preventing the unlawful recruitment and use of children…

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NARRATOR

So what can be done to prevent the recruitment and use of children in your context?

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SAUDAMINI: 00:43:20:03 - 00:43:49:07 and  00:44:15:16 - 00:44:30:00  (00:29 and 00:15) 

There has to be real alternatives for children. There has to be the access to quality education. There has to be economic opportunity for children and families. There needs to be a full, holistic approach for prevention to root causes…

 We need to be able to address the injustices that children experience. They actually feel very strongly very often about the injustices that are experienced by their families and communities.

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NARRATOR

Ask children for their insights

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MARCO: 00:26:03:17 - 00:26:20:01 (00:17)

It's not just important to look at the reasons why they joined, but why don't we …look at the other side. There are other children in the same community who refused to join and maybe understand the reasons why these children have chosen not to join the armed groups.

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NARRATOR

The needs of children during the reintegration process differ, owing to their age, experience, gender, and ability. You must develop a strength-based care plan to suit each boy and girl, their family’s capacity, and resources available at the community level. These resources may have been altered by the conflict, and continue to change.

Efforts range across education, psychosocial support, livelihood opportunities, medical and legal services.

Here’s an example on economic reintegration:

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SOPHIE: 01:09:29:30 - 01:09:59:05  (00:30)

Concretely, we would listen to the aspiration of the child and assess his or her capacities-- whether he or she has already gone to school; has already acquired some skills, including in the armed forces and groups; whether he or she has a disability and so on … Also taking into account the job opportunities that we have already identified in the labor market locally.

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NARRATOR

Services that improve the welfare and protection of returning girls and boys should be available to the full community of children. This ensures that the program response is holistic, and not isolating or stigmatising.

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ESTHER: 00:13:25 - 00:13:43

Because if we are giving just grants for these children, for example, or we have a different school for them, this is not good for their reintegration in their community. And it is not good for the other children in the community because they will feel that it is better to have been in a group…

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NARRATOR

Reintegration isn't something that happens quickly. It takes support over the long-term to prevent re-recruitment, and to afford children the opportunities to realize their full potential.

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ESTHER: 00:14:49:48 - 00:15:19:23

You have to follow up on the reintegration process  … No, you have to go back there to see how his relation is working with his family, with the community; how the community is receiving these children…

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SAUDAMINI: 00:54:16 - 00:54:55  (00:39)

So how we address the response and prevention in the bigger picture requires both the strengthening of systems and the motivation of positive social norms that will in the long-run both enable the child to return to the family and community and become an active participant of it in a positive manner; but also to prevent re-recruitment because the shift in social norms would value education and vocation above the recruitment and use.

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NARRATOR

To summarise, the CPMS reflect a consensus on program principles for the delivery of a quality child protection response in emergencies. Collectively, you can adapt their key actions, indicators, and guidance on prevention, release and reintegration of girls and boys to fit your local context.

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ESTHER: 07:02:58 - 07:24:14 

So I invite all of you to go to the field with … these plans, with the laws and everything... And have the opinions and suggestions from the people in the field in order to make them better; in order that we really protect children to be engaged by armed groups.

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NARRATOR

Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, child and youth-friendly versions, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards.

Standard 12: Child labour

Transcript:

NARRATOR

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are one of the companions to the Sphere Standards.

This video examines Standard 12 – The Worst Forms of Child Labour

 For other installments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

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SELIM: 20:55-21:44

A humanitarian crisis will enhance the risk of children being involved in … the worst forms of child labour. It will also increase the vulnerabilities of families … and …they will not be able … to provide basic food, subsistence, education … there will be no employment, they will find themselves in a …highly vulnerable situation. … the only possibility will be to send their children to work.

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NARRATOR

The CPMS have been established to make these children visible to humanitarian workers and to ensure that our programming meets their needs.  Their 10 Guiding Principles must be the basis of our efforts.

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NICK: 15:49-15:57  

…the Minimum Standards are possibly the single most important development in emergency and in development in recent years.

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NARRATOR

The Standard articulates that:

Girls and boys are protected from the worst forms of child labour, in particular those related to or made worse by the emergency.

 The worst forms of child labour include forced labour, trafficking for exploitation, illicit activities, sexual exploitation and other hazardous work that harms children’s health, safety and morals.

So to unpack all that, let’s imagine 2 children who live with their parents on a small farm near a town. Mariam is 13, and her brother Rollo is 16. The family has always been poor, selling the fruit and vegetables they grow. Rollo attends secondary school with the support of a national programme; he also helps the family after school and at weekends. Mariam works all day in the home and farm.

After an emergency hit their town, their crops were destroyed and their parents no longer able to work. 

Global experience shows that a humanitarian crisis will most likely impact pre-existing levels of child labour, increasing the scale and severity of the work children do.

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GLORIA: 01.13.15 – 01.14.03

I think because of the devastation of Yolanda it has brought negative changes… They are still young to be in a store or beggar boy or plastic guy or very young children in restaurants… There is a remarkedly increase number of chilbelow 18… who are really working.

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NARRATOR

Injured during the emergency and with little income, Mariam and Rollo’s parents had no alternative but to send their daughter to live with distant relatives. The extended family also struggled to provide for her and made her work as domestic help for their neighbor where she was abused and worked long hours.

Meanwhile, Rollo could no longer go to school as it had been destroyed. And since his family could not afford to send him to a school further away, he found work at a local construction site. Even though he was older than 15 – in this country, the minimum age for employment -  he faced many hazards there.

As this family’s dilemma demonstrates, there may be a continuum of child labour which can be accelerated by emergencies. Children who are already working are more at risk of moving into the worst forms, and once in the worst forms, moving back into education proves extremely difficult.

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CATHY 1.23.XX-1.24.26

 …with the current conflict…  livelihoods have been destroyed and children have resorted to the worst forms of child labour. You see that children are coming from one level of labour into another … worse than the one before. … the ones who are already in the conflict who are already working have descended into child prostitution and …kids from the new conflict who have been displaced...have resorted to commercial sex work for survival.

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NARRATOR

So prioritise the worst forms of child labour, starting with those related to or made worse by the emergency. Be sure to consider local forms of hazardous work, which often affect at risk adolescents, such as Rollo’s situation. This can seem a challenging task. Here is how one organization in South Sudan tackled it.

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JOY: 51.19– 53.54

It is a huge issue & a very complex issue that we need to prioritise our actions… look at what were the pre-existing worst forms of child labour before the emergency to get an overview of the situation,

And then… analyse how the emergency has had an impact on the WFCL…

 We also need to analyse if we do not respond … what will be the impact on children. If those impacts ….are life-threatening ones, then we should definitely consider to prioritise … in our first phase emergency response…

 Last… we also need to evaluate our capacity and resources so we can respond to particular worst forms of child labour …

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NARRATOR

In order to address the priority needs, new workers should first understand the context of child labour and the response to eliminate it that was underway prior to the crisis. This may include the Ministry of Labour, national steering committees that coordinate the response, local NGO’s and existing referral pathways.

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SELIM: 24.20 – 24.41 

They should also look at what the different actors… international actors …are doing and how they can establish synergies. They could also look at the different Legislation, if there is a hazardous list for example or if there is a minimum age and start from there, not start from scratch…

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NARRATOR

For those of us already addressing the issue, an emergency can be an overwhelming experience, where our usual ways of working are challenged. However, they can present opportunities to strengthen and grow existing projects and networks to address child labour.   In order to do this, you need to map and coordinate with the existing and emerging services.

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NICK: 10.42 - 11.xx + 12:19-12.34

In Jordan we already had a national child labour referral mechanism … it addressed the very clear …roles and responsibilities of the different national actors… However alongside that we …had…the child protection pathways of the humanitarian response…

We needed to ensure that there was coherence, that integration and those communication mechanisms between the two pathways.

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JOY: 55.55 – 56.12 

…that is really important that the whole sectors work hand in hand and also working through the existing structure and systems instead of creating a whole new system which is not very feasible in a emergency situation.

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NARRATOR

Let’s go back to Rollo. An NGO working on economic recovery assessed his workplace as hazardous and referred him to a local child-friendly space for follow-up. To help Rollo, a case manager contacted the programme that had been supporting his education. This highlights the importance of emergency and non-emergency actors collaborating to understand changes and address new forms of child labour. It also points to the need to capitalize on existing efforts and prevent duplication.

Since there are many reasons why children work, we should collaborate with other sectors to ensure a comprehensive and integrated response.

Measures aimed at sustaining livelihoods and access to quality, formal or informal education are key elements for success.

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NICK: 08.47 – 09.14  + 10:xx – 10:37

… it is very important that we do mainstream the issue of child labour across our service provision … Whether that be social services, … accommodation, … education, … food provision... it’s important that we take into account that there are working children involved and we need to target them specifically because they have very specific needs and expectations.

Not to necessarily say that there has to be a dedicated response every time but simply by making people more aware, by ensuring that there are human, financial and knowledge resources which are being directed towards the problem, we can begin to address some of these issues.

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CATHY: 1.27.50 – 1.28.42

The reason why the children are trafficked or they come to work because there is no livelihoods at home or they have been separated from their families or they are very very poor and not going to school. So you cannot address the issues of Child Labour without …providing alternatives. There should be some form of …livelihoods support or even immediate …food aid… their education should be …taken into consideration. …They should monitor their health…

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NARRATOR

As part of your programming, ensure the on-going and systematic collection of data. Coordinate with other actors; take opportunities across sectors; and focus on severity and scale.

Without this evidence, it is impossible to persuade donors, governments or other humanitarian actors that child labour has been impacted by the emergency, and can be life-threatening.

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MANNON - 30:58-31:40 + 31:54-32:06

There is no…comprehensive data on child labour; this is one of the biggest challenges we had. We had conducted assessment on child protection and education joint assessment… it gave a lot of information on the situation of children and there was anecdotal information that we tried to gather from NGOs... That… indicated to us where are the hotspots we should monitor.

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NARRATOR

Rollo and Mariam’s family were fortunate; in this crisis, the local CPWG did an assessment which identified child labour as a core issue. Evidence from the assessment helped secure funding for awareness-raising workshops for other sectors, as well as some targeted support.

Their parents are now part of an economic strengthening project; and their community is re-building the local secondary school. Thanks to their new situation, Mariam will be returning to her family.

All over the world, child protection actors report that the CPMS’s inclusion of the worst forms of child labour helps to convince donors and other stakeholders of the importance of the issue. It has provided us with a strong platform to engage in emergency response planning, to build an evidence base and to fund-raise, as well as provided a practical tool for project design and implementation. The minimum standard on the worst forms of child labour takes our work to a whole new level.

Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards

Standard 13: Unaccompanied and separated children

Transcript

NARRATOR

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are one of the companions to the Sphere Standards.

This video examines Standard 13 – Unaccompanied and Separated Children

 For other installments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

Standard 13 states: Family separation is prevented and responded to and unaccompanied and separated children are cared for and protected according to their specific needs and their best interests.

Note that it has two parts: Identification, Documentation, Tracing and Reunification and Alternative Care

Sometimes there is confusion about terminology. So we always use the globally agreed definitions:

Separated children are those separated from both parents, or from their previous legal or customary primary caregiver, but not necessarily from other relatives.

Unaccompanied children have been separated from both parents and other relatives and are not being cared for by an adult who, by law or custom, is responsible for doing so.

In addition, the principle of best interest of the child should underpin all interventions.

 You will find all of this in the CPMS, which are a practical, inter-agency tool that can be drawn upon quickly.

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MEGHAN: 59:31-1:00:03

There is no need to re-event the wheel. It is easily accessible, easily structured. I think that it is also important that we know and promote the use of training tools that exist in relation to the standards. When it comes to designing, implementing, monitoring , evaluating….  we have all the tools at out finger tips.

NARRATOR

In addition to the CPMS, we have the Inter-Agency Working Group’s Guiding Principles and its accompanying Field Handbook, which provide very detailed guidance for programming.

Separation can occur to any child in any emergency, whatever its cause or nature. However, family separation can be prevented by preparedness measures both at the agency level and with families and communities.

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CORNELIUS: 4:03-4:17 + 5.38-6.24

You need to have staff who are trained, you need to have your standard operating procedures in place, you need to already have agreement on contingency plans on what you would do if those children become separated.

A couple of ways in which you can help families …so that they don’t lose their children during a situation of conflict is to ensure that the family educates their children what to do … how do you keep together…, if there’s a school, what should the school do … to remind them …that if there is any fighting how they keep their children together,… how they walk together, how they hold hands, etc and to tell them about things that could cause separation.

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NARRATOR

Your preparedness measures should not only address the immediate causes of separation but also secondary separations or those that are likely to occur at a later stage.

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JUMANAH: 15:13 - 15:29 

Children can accidentally become separated during flight to safety or during an attack, they may have been entrusted by parents to someone else, they may also have run away. The best way for you to know the real causes of separation is by asking children, to consult with them if it is possible.

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NARRATOR

And then using their insights, tailor your response. For example, talk to the agency responsible for transport of refugees if children identify being left behind when buses leave.

Despite prevention efforts, there will be some girls and boys who end up being separated or unaccompanied. These children and adolescents are amongst the most vulnerable; likely to face violence, abuse, and exploitation. So it is crucial that you and other humanitarian colleagues act fast.

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CORNELIUS: 3:XX-3:56

They can easily forget details of their family so you have to document that as quickly as possible, when children become separated they become attached to other adults and other groups, they could be recruited to fight in armed forces, they could become exploited sexually… they could become street children… they could become trafficked … so it’s important that we quickly identify those children and provide them with the necessary protection.

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SEVERINE: 01:29:56-01:30:08

The sooner we can get messages to families… that they can access basic services the sooner we will prevent additional separation.

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NARRATOR

When faced with a separation, our first priority is family tracing; we must avoid any long term solutions until all tracing efforts have been exhausted. Adoption is not appropriate during emergencies.

Where alternative care is needed, it should be in line with internationally agreed guidance. The UN Guidelines on Alternative Care are the key guidance for us all, For example, rather than build child care centres, we can enable families to care for additional children. We can help them access extra food and provide ongoing monitoring and support.

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SEVERINE: 01:25:36-01:26:23

…it’s really important that the need of each specific child is identified and assessed and a care plan is developed to really document what are the needs of that child and what is in their best interests. There really should be a range of different types of care arrangements available to meet the specific needs of each child…. Unfortunately in many, many countries there is an over reliance on residential care as the solution for any child separated from their family and the evidence shows that this is really not in the best interests of children’s development and wellbeing. So there is a real need to be able to provide other types and ideally family based alternative care.

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NARRATOR

Siblings should remain together and where realistic and appropriate, children should be kept within their community of origin. Residential care should be avoided as this increases the likelihood of family separation and can undermine children’s wellbeing. This is particularly important for children under 3.

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NILDA: 31:36-31:45

The children also, if they were referred to a centre they should not stay long at a centre, because the best place for a child is to stay with the family.

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NARRATOR

Wherever separated children are, we need to keep track of them and monitor their well-being.

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JUMANAH: 18:22 – 18:49 + 16:07-16:39

It is important to understand and enhance existing and traditional coping mechanisms of communities in finding alternative care solutions for separated children. For example, the informal care provided by a neighbor or kinship care provided by extended family members. What matters is that these children and families continue to be accounted for, stay visible and receive regular monitoring and support until a durable solution is found in the best interest of the child…

…Sometimes children separated from their parents end up in the care of relatives. We might say that in principle this is a family based care model in line with the international guidelines on alternative care. However, as part of the Syria response for example. We saw some cases of girls staying with relatives that were pushed into early marriage while boys were pushed into harmful work just to be able to contribute to the income of the family. In this case, it is an example of inappropriate alternative care because monitoring and support were not provided to the family and to children.

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NARRATOR

In order to ensure quality of care, as well as the overall prevention of and response to family separation, coordination and cooperation amongst a broad range of actors are key.

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MEGHAN: 47:36-48:09

It is really important right from the start and often through out…. to set up very quickly, efficient coordination mechanisms – to know with whom to talk, with whom to coordinate and to agree upon very quickly and efficiently who is doing what; we should draw upon our respective organizations’ mandates, strengths, and to agree upon clear roles –who is in charge for example of child care, family tracing and reunification, in country, cross border, alternative care solutions, the list can go on.

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NILDA: 26:36-26:49 

It is very important to have coordination in all these humanitarian actors. To harmonise all activities so there will be no duplication of services, and for monitoring purposes also.

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NARRATOR

To ensure a comprehensive response, we need to be cooperating with colleagues in all humanitarian sectors, as well as community groups.

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JUMANAH: 17:50-18:16 

People working in water and sanitation, logistics or livelihoods programmes can identify & unaccompanied separated children in their work. On top of that, to prevent separation in the first place means families will need financial support, access to shelter health, and education services, maybe legal advice or counseling. In short, it is everybody’s business to deal with separation - from local and national levels and across all sectors.

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SEVERINE: 01:37:44-01:38:03 

The importance of community actors is also extremely key - to identify problems to identify vulnerable children, vulnerable families, to monitor children who have been reunited with their families in ensuring that they are doing well and that there is no risk of secondary separation.

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NARRATOR

Effective coordination during the emergency will have benefits for girls and boys in the long-term.

CORNELIUS: 13:07-13:38

When you phase out, there will be a sort of dividends for these children, so that you leave stronger structures behind, so you can also help the government … to look at laws, the framework, especially when recovery stage when the government is doing sector reforms; then you can start looking at the laws of that country; you can ensure that whatever budget, resource envelope for recovery is being developed that child protection is part of that envelope…

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NARRATOR

For many of us, an emergency is an overwhelming experience, where our usual ways of working are challenged.

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NILDA: 34:29 - 35:11

I have learnt that separation of children can be prevented.

And in cases where children are separated from their parents or from their primary caregivers, there is a need for the government and humanitarians… to act fast in order …. for the child to be protected from further harm;

and quality service must be provided also to the child;

 there is also a need for the different humanitarian actors… to complement with the services for the welfare and benefits of all the children affected.

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NARRATOR

Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, child and youth-friendly versions, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net/minimum-standards.

Standard 14: Justice for children

Transcript

NARRATOR

The global Child Protection Working Group – the international coordinating body for protecting girls and boys in humanitarian settings – has produced a video series on The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.

These Minimum Standards – also known as the CPMS - were developed through widespread, inter-agency collaboration.

They are part of a Global Humanitarian Standards Partnership, which includes Sphere, INEE and others.

This video examines Standard 14 – Justice for children

 For other installments in the series, please go to the CPWG’s website.

Children in contact with the justice system are often overlooked in a humanitarian crisis. Standard 14 requires us to modify the ways we have been working and to take specific actions to include them in our response.

Standard 14 states:  All girls and boys who come into contact with the justice systems as victims, witnesses or alleged offenders are treated in line with international standards.

Child-friendly justice promotes the rights of the child and takes into account his or her individual needs and views. It gives due consideration to the child’s maturity and understanding.

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ALI:

People often confuse Justice for children is only to deal with the offenders. People have to understand that it is also for victims; it’s also for witnesses and it’s even for any children who become beneficiaries in any process in justice system in a formal or informal.

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NARRATOR

The range of ways that children can come into contact with the justice system may get even larger in a humanitarian situation. For example, Pedro escaped from an armed group and was detained by government forces; Sazan was arrested at the border as she and her family fled their country; Aliya was living alone on the streets, when wide-spread fighting broke out. After re-locating to a transit center, she has been abused by one of the staff. Lack of identity papers is making it difficult to transfer Hassan to his family in another displaced persons camp. And John is in police custody after being accused of shop-lifting in the market following severe floods.

A lot of social structures and justice structures are getting disrupted or even interrupted or destroyed, and so emergencies tend to exacerbate problems that are already there in the country.

The standard provides us with the guidance of what we need to do, of what we need to achieve. it provides guidance on key actions that we need to do during preparedness, response and after an emergency situation and It provides us an easy message to advocate behalf  of children in contact with the law.

As a first step after the emergency hits, child protection actors should prioritise children in detention.  Map their potential locations, such as police custody, prison, juvenile or women’s detention centers, army bases, premises of the intelligence or national security bodies, asylum centers, and law courts.

This exercise helped to identify our five cases. Let’s focus on two characters - John and Aliya.

Aliya was separated from her parents when armed conflict broke out. She was rounded up from the streets and placed in a transit center while awaiting family tracing. After some weeks, she disclosed to an NGO social worker that a guard at the center had been beating her and forced her to beg on the streets for him.

John’s family home was destroyed in the recent floods and he and his community are facing severe food shortages. His hunger drove him to steal some fruit at a nearby market. The stall keeper confronted him and beat him harshly. When the police intervened, he was arrested and taken to the station, where he languished for several weeks without charges.

 Children in contact with the law and especially children in conflict with the law are often in our blind spot as humanitarians.   Armed conflict and disasters can change the relationship between children and the justice system, increasing their victimisation and neglect. Therefore, it is important for us to consider them in assessments and program design from the first days of an emergency.

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GEOFFREY:

The invisibility is that their rights are not respected. The communities might sometimes look at them as problems because of what they have been involved in and the violence they have met in the communities. Therefore because of that it can easily happen that once they are detained by the authorities, no one looks for them.

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NARRATOR

Different actors have different mandates to protect children in contact with the law in a humanitarian setting. These include formal government officials, customary law and community actors, child protection workers, as well as ICRC and specialists from other sectors.

Emergencies create space for so many actors to intervene. It becomes crucial to coordinate and work together in order not to duplicate efforts or even to have goals that are a bit contradictory to one another.

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ALI:

It is important to remember that mitigating the risk of children in contact with the law is not only the responsibility of agencies working on child protection. Those agencies working on health, on education, on income generation can mitigate the risk. Families who receive support for livelihoods and support from education sector can mitigate the risk of children going to the street, commit crimes or even joining the armed forces.

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NARRATOR

Aliya’s story provides a clear example of the need to coordinate.  After discussing matters with the girl and informing her about her rights and legal options, the NGO worker needed to coordinate with the transit center management, police, prosecution, and health services.

Often we need to involve actors in both the customary and formal justice systems.

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MOHAMMAD:

We have to work in both in parallel because they are complement each other. We can’t work for formal alone or for informal alone. According to us we have to advocate to implement juvenile justice system; at the same time we have to take into consideration the informal or the customary justice that is in place according to the community.

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NARRATOR

Contact with the law can lead to a range of problems, such as beatings, torture and sexual assault; prolonged separation from family; hunger and physical hardships; and psychological abuse. An emergency adds stress to the system and increases children’s vulnerability, particularly to arbitrary detention. Thus, it is important to act with urgency and to systematically include children in contact with the law in our humanitarian interventions.

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GEOFFREY:

Having effective Standard Operating Procedures enables us to quickly induct new people so they have a reference of what happened, what to do, so who to ask for what and where to go if you are in need of any information

So having the Standard Operation Procedures helps us to coordinate with all the actors and therefore help quickly resolve issues because in this kind of context it might be life-threatening. We really don’t have the privilege of time.

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NARRATOR

Activities should be prioritized according to the girls and boys’ situations and needs. After you have mapped their potential locations, your initial steps might include:

  • Registering the children and ensuring their status is both clear and understood by the authorities
  • Ensuring their security and safety by monitoring their day to day situation; and
  • Making sure they have access to basic services.

You would follow-up with

  • Ensuring contact with next of kin
  • Sharing - in a child-friendly manner - any objective information on what is happening.
  • Alerting the different authorities to the children’s situation
  • Training officials on the principles of child-friendly justice; and
  • Providing psychosocial support

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YASMIN:

We try to work on a very important aspect which is the psycho-social support aspect and the psychological component. We do provide these children with psychological support sessions through playing and games and also psychological support on an individual basis and also in group therapy.

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NARRATOR

When the worker documented John’s case, he realized that the boy needed a range of help. He ensured that John had access to clean water and food and was in touch with his parents. Throughout it all, he advocated for the boy’s release and a speedy settlement of his case without further detention.

It is important to build an up-to-date analysis of children’s legal situations – such as changes in their legal status, arbitrary detention, length of time and treatment in police custody, access to legal advice, and victims’ access to justice. This can be done by pairing the information of individual cases with statistics and other data from all actors.

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NAJIBULLAH:

Data is important for effective and targeted programming. especially in an emergency. We need to have information about children in detention – the number, information about the type of offences they have committed and also the information about what services are available tor them - for example availability of a lawyer in a location and access of the children to the legal service.

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NARRATOR

When there is proper preparedness and response, emergencies can actually provide opportunities to strengthen the justice system.

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ALI:

In post-conflict, post-tsunami Aceh for example agencies working on child protection facilitated the establishment of specialist units for child protection and police officers were trained and new procedures in handling children in contact with the law were tested and piloted in many districts. The collaboration between police, prosecutors, judges, as well as social workers, was strengthened, ensuring that children were not being stigmatised during the process of handling their cases.

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NARRATOR

The key actions laid out in Standard 14 can help John, Aliya and children like them, because the Minimum Standards apply across the humanitarian spectrum – protracted crisis, sudden onset conflict or natural disaster, and recovery. They are your first tool for action.

Other installments in this series focus on how to use the CPMS and on the specific standards for addressing needs.

The CPWG provides support for applying the standards, such as mainstreaming briefs, guidance on contextual adaptation, and training packages.

 For more information, please go to cpwg.net /minimum-standards

5. Standards to develop adequate child protection strategies

Child Protection Strategies

Standards in this area include the main child protection strategies that can serve different child protection needs. They include standards relate to:

  • Case management
  • Community-based child protection mechanisms
  • Child-friendly spaces
  • Protection of excluded children

6. Standards to mainstream child protection to other humanitarian sectors

Child Protection Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming child protection or ensuring that child protection considerations inform all aspects of humanitarian action, helps to maximize the child protection impacts of the work that all humanitarian actors do.

The standards in this area focus on mainstreaming child protection in the following sectors:

  • Economic recovery and child protection
  • Education and child protection
  • Health and child protection
  • Nutrition and child protection
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and child protection
  • Shelter and child protection
  • Camp management and child protection
  • Distribution and child protection