Introduction Child Rights in Humanitarian Crises and Transition During

Introduction child rights in humanitarian crises and

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Introduction - Child Rights in Humanitarian Crises and Transition During humanitarian crises, including armed conflict and natural disasters, children’s exposure to rights violations can increase dramatically as a result of the increased instability and insecurity that ensues. Due to their age and related lack of experience, lack of power, dependency and vulnerability, girls and boys of different ages may face distinct risks and suffer the disproportionate consequences of crisis. The direct consequences of humanitarian crises for boys and girls may include unlawful recruitment, sexual violence, forced displacement, killing and maiming, separation from family, trafficking and illegal detention. During armed conflict, children, and in particular adolescent girls, are vulnerable to gender based violence, especially sexual violence and exploitation, including rape, enforced pregnancy, forced prostitution, forced marriage and forced child bearing. Consequences of such violations may include increased and life-threatening exposure to sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, as well as lifelong physical, psychological and social scars. Conflict affected boys and girls may suffer additional violations including forced removal from families and homes, killing and maiming, abduction or recruitment into armed forces or groups, illegal detention, torture and other in humane treatment. Children may find themselves separated from their families, or they may become heads of households with responsibility to care for younger siblings. The breakdown of traditional community and state protection mechanisms that often ensues after crisis, leave children even more vulnerable. Indirect consequences of crises can include the loss of basic services, such as water, sanitation, health and education, as well as the rise of malnutrition and disease. Some children may face discrimination practices (i.e. based on gender, disability, ethnicity, etc.) which severely reduce their access to basic social services. Furthermore, increased poverty resulting from crisis may drive families to push their daughters into early marriage, or their sons into early work, as a coping mechanism. The impact of crises on already vulnerable populations perpetuates poverty, illiteracy and early mortality and robs boys and girls of their childhood, family, security, education, health, psychosocial wellbeing and opportunities for development. i In transitional contexts, when the crisis has abated and individuals, communities and societies begin rebuilding their lives, the need to promote and protect child rights continues to be critical. Low state capacity (including weak service delivery), poor governance, corruption, limited state legitimacy, insecurity, porous borders and organized crime, may all contribute to fragility in countries transitioning out of conflict-related crisis. These variables have direct and indirect impacts on children’s lives and affect the ability of duty bearers to fulfill and protect their rights. 1.1. A Child Rights-based Approach
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • Child Rights

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