|Duration||04/09/2018 to 07/09/2018|
|Organizer||SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC- IU), Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India|
|Venue||Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management Campus, Behind PDPU, Village-Raysan, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, Phone No: 0091 79 23275804|
|Language Of Event||English|
|Target Audience||About 25 participants from the SAARC Member States working with Education Department, Child Development/ Protection Department or Disaster Management Department are expected to participate in the training.|
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups of a community during an extreme event. Children in general and children with disabilities in particular, need special assistance during a disaster. Children are directly affected by death and injuries as well as from diseases related to malnutrition, poor water and sanitation – conditions that are exacerbated by diseases. In addition, disasters disrupt education and can cause psychological trauma. Disasters also separate children from their families and increase vulnerability to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.
It is imperative to focus on the protection of the children by adopting effective mitigation measures. According to United Nations Convention on the rights of the child, they have the right to be first to receive attention during emergencies. Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the child (CRC) children have inalienable rights in all circumstances – including disasters when they are at their most vulnerable – and the right to participate in decisions that ultimately affect them. The CRC and Disaster Risk Reduction are mutually reinforcing. Moreover, children have particular needs that must be met for their healthy growth and development. The children of South Asia are among the most vulnerable in the world. One of every three child deaths globally occurs in South Asia. Nearly half of the world’s undernourished children live in South Asia. More than a third of the world’s children without basic education are from South Asia (SAARC Framework).
While various global and regional conventions, declarations and charters have been helpful in defining the rights of the child in difficult circumstances, these do not adequately address the special and multi-faceted needs of children in natural and manmade disasters. Various international organisations, humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organisations working for the care, support and protection of children have developed standards and guidelines focusing on particular aspects of the needs of children in disasters, but as yet no comprehensive and commonly accepted standards are available which could be applied in the specific contexts of South Asia. In the absence of such
guidelines, the needs of children have been generally marginalised in disaster management policies, strategies and programmes in the region, resulting in the continued neglect of the interests of the children who are most vulnerable in disasters.
At the global level, UNICEF has integrated DRR into the Core Commitments for Children (CCC) in Humanitarian Action, UNICEF’s central policy on how to uphold the rights of children affected by humanitarian crisis. At the country level, UNICEF is working to integrate DRR into its programming, focusing particularly on building partnerships with government and civil society from the national to the community level.
31.5% of the total population in South Asia is below 14 years of age (source: UNICEF – Facts on Children_ROSA 2011). Therefore, it is crucial that any effort to reduce disaster risk at the regional, national, local or community level takes into consideration both the specific vulnerabilities faced by children & the crucial role they can play in reducing disaster risk. With access to knowledge & skills development, there is increasing evidence that children can contribute to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and help build the resilience of their communities. Child-centred DRR means focusing on specific risks faced by children, and involving children in efforts to reduce disaster risk to make their communities safer. It is an innovative approach to DRR that fosters the agency of children and youth, in groups and as individuals, to work towards making their lives safer & their communities more resilient to disasters.
Recurring disasters pose a great development challenge for all SAARC countries. with this backdrop, SAARC Comprehensive Framework on Disaster Management and Disaster Prevention has been prepared during the year 2015 which is in force.
Keeping view of the child centered DRR context, the SDMC (IU) in association with UNICEF is organizing a four-day training program during 4 – 7 September 2018 with the purpose to provide a platform for sharing of knowledge from various SAARC Member States and facilitate exchange of experiences amongst the professionals from the Member States and other Experts for addressing the needs of children in disaster.