Given these interconnections as well as discussions

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Given these interconnections, as well as discussions with UNHCR staff members working on these issues who recognised this overlap, the absence of explicit engagement with MHPSS approaches and interventions in the 2012 policy document, A Framework for the Protection of Children 115 , is particularly striking. Within this document, particular risks to children – discrimination, neglect, violence, abuse and exploitation – are presented, all of which are known risks for short and long- term psychosocial distress and create potential for mental disorders amongst affected children. However, in the Framework , as with the SGBV strategy, psychosocial work is mentioned throughout without specifically engaging with what this means for the types of interventions selected, the types of programs or approaches undertaken, or the capacity of staff required to implement these responses. Within the Framework , psychosocial services for children are referenced as a component of prevention and response within two of the six goals: Girls and boys are safe where they live, learn and play; and Girls and boys with specific needs receive targeted support. Other goals, outcomes and suggested activities that are relevant to MHPSS approaches include: Children and adolescents are increasingly able to find solutions and positive coping strategies that address their problems [Outcome under Goal 2 – Children’s participation and capacity are integral to their protection] Children are actively engaged through activities and education that build their skills and capacities [Outcome under Goal 2 – Children’s participation and capacity are integral to their protection] Girls and boys who have experienced sexual violence access age-appropriate, confidential services [Outcome under Goal 5 – Girls and boys with specific needs receive targeted support] These goals and outcomes are clearly linked with the MHPSS framework, and as is the case with SGBV policy, it is evident that improved linkages could be made between the child protection sector and MHPSS language, concepts and principles, such as building on available resources and capacities to strengthen supports, provision of integrated systems of support, and provision of a multi-layered and complementary system of care. Education Education in emergencies is widely recognised as an important influence on child and adolescent development and well-being. Formal and informal educational settings can contribute to a sense of normalcy, a regular schedule, the opportunity for adult role models, and space for socialising with peers. UNHCR’s 2012-2016 Education Strategy identifies the psychosocial benefits of education, recognising that education, particularly in emergencies, “provides life-sustaining physical, psychosocial and cognitive protection.” 116 A myriad of key activities listed within the Strategy – including teacher training, inclusion and social cohesion in schools, early childhood education and development, sports activities, life skills and specific psychosocial support strategies
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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