During humanitarian situations, acts of violence such as rape, harassment and physical aggression often increase in prevalence and can have serious and lasting consequences that further endanger survivors' lives. Such acts can include permanent impairment, death or a whole range of physical, psychosocial and mental health problems that negatively affect survivors' self-respect and quality of life and expose them to the risk of further abuse whilst internally displaced or refugee status. These consequences can result in a vicious circle of violence and ill-treatment, as survivors may be rejected by their families, excluded and stigmatised by society, or even arrested, placed in detention and punished and sometimes even subjected to further violence because they sought protection, assistance or access to justice.
According to the World Bank and WHO, 15% of the worlds population has a disability and these individuals are frequently reported to be at increased risk of violence, especially during a humanitarian crisis. Adults and children with disabilities are at a higher risk of violence than non-disabled adults and children, and those with mental illnesses could be particularly vulnerable. Please refer to our Disability and violence key list that raises awareness about violence against people with disabilities, gender-based violence and violence against children disabilities.
It is important to support survivors through inclusive protection and response mechanisms during humanitarian situations to prevent further acts of violence and to advocate for safety and justice. This is supported by articles 11 and 16 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This key list highlights resources for protection against gender, disability and age based violence in humanitarian situations. We welcome your suggestions, please send comments or suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This document reviews the findings, lessons learned, and promising practices in the provision of comprehensive SGBV services in sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on the data generated by the network partners to identify core issues in the provision of quality, comprehensive care for survivors of SGBV. These findings are intended to serve as a resource for programmers and policymakers throughout the region, and contribute to the emerging evidence-base on such program strategies"
This methodological guide is the result of a cross-disciplinary project to consolidate the experiences and tools on gender-based violence. As well as a general presentation of the issue of gender-based violence, this guide presents various aspects of caring for victims of violence, awareness-raising activities and arguments that can accompany those activities. It aims to facilitate the development and implementation of actions to combat gender-based violence and to enhance the quality of interventions in the field. Best practices and know-how are also highlighted. This guide will of use to anyone interested in gender-based violence and developing gender-based violence prevention and response initiatives
Note: web link will take you to a page which is in French. Scroll down the page to images of the report where French, English and Spanish links to the report are provided
"The primary purpose of these guidelines is to enable humanitarian actors and communities to plan, establish, and coordinate a set of minimum multisectoral interventions to prevent and respond to sexual violence during the early phase of an emergency"
Contents: Module 1. Target diseases -- module 2. The vaccines -- module 3. The cold chain -- module 4. Ensuring safe injections -- module 5. Planning immunization session to reach every infant -- module 6. Holding an immunization session -- module 7. Monitoring and using you data -- module 8. Building community support for immunization
This document is an advocacy report on sexual violence against children with disabilities. It is based on evidence generated from a literature review and primary research in four African countries. Adults with disabilities who had been abused as children were interviewed, as well as carers, lawyers, judges, police, social workers, teachers and members of disabled people's organisations. The report concludes with a set of recommendations, developed in consultation with children, young people and professionals working globally on this issue
"These Guidelines are intended to be used by the staff of UNHCR, UN agencies, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations and host government agencies who provide protection and assistance to refugees and persons of concern to UNHCR. They are also intended to guide activities initiated by refugee communities themselves to prevent and address the problem. They examine the root causes of and factors contributing to sexual and gender-based violence and suggest practical actions to be taken to help prevent and respond to this kind of violence"
This comprehensive user guide explains what the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) is, why it is important and how it works. It is also a training tool on how to use the GBVIMS and related tools through hands-on, self-learning activities. It is intended to be both a reference document and a training manual for both service providers with specific services in place for GBV survivors, such as case management or health services, and agencies or actors coordinating multisectoral GBV interventions within a humanitarian context. This could include local national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), state actors, community-based organizations (CBOs) and/or UN agencies operating within a humanitarian context
Note: free registration is required to access the guide
Note: the guide is available as one document, or as individual chapters and annexes. A workbook is also available
"This guide was developed for managers, organizations, and policy makers working in the field of VAW/G [Violence Against Women and Girls] program implementation and evaluation in developing countries, as well as for people who provide technical assistance to these individuals and organizations. Indicators were developed to measure the following areas within VAW/G : 1. Magnitude and characteristics of different forms of VAW/G (skewed sex rations, intimate partner violence, violence from someone other than an intimate partner, female genital cutting/mutilation and child marriage); 2. Programs addressing VAW/G by sector (health, education, justice/security, social welfare); 3. Under-documented forms of VAW/G and emerging areas (humanitarian emergencies, trafficking in persons, femicide), and preventing VAW/G (youth, community mobilization, working with men and boys). The indicators can also be used by programs that may not specifically focus on VAW/G, but include reducing levels of VAW/G as part of their aims. The indicators have been designed [to] address information needs that can be assessed with quantitative methods to measure program performance and achievement at the community, regional and national levels. While many of the indicators have been used in the field, they have not necessarily been tested in multiple settings"
This document builds on previous WHO publications and explores the different reasons for collecting information about sexual violence in emergency situations. It applies to all forms of enquiry about sexual violence and makes a number of recommendations that are intended to ensure that the necessary safety and ethical safeguards are in place at the beginning of any information gathering exercise. The document sets out the key safety and ethical issues that need to be addressed and the questions that need to be asked. There are examples of good practice and details of further information and resources that are available. This document is not intended to be a standalone guidance document but is designed to complement existing internationally-agreed ethical guidelines for research and to inform ethics review processes
"Violence against women by an intimate partner is a major contributor to the ill-health of women. This study analyses data from 10 countries and sheds new light on the prevalence of violence against women in countries where few data were previously available. It also uncovers the forms and patterns of this violence across different countries and cultures, documenting the consequences of violence for women’s health. This information has important implications for prevention, care and mitigation... The high rates documented by the Study of sexual abuse experienced by girls and women are of great concern, especially in light of the HIV epidemic. Greater public awareness of this problem is needed and a strong public health response that focuses on preventing such violence from occurring in the first place...This study will help national authorities to design policies and programmes that begin to deal with the problem"
Violence against Children
"This document provides a rapid overview of best practices in relation to interim care, including Key Principles and a Key Summary Guidance of the actions required before and during the emergency response, associated tools and where in the Extended Guidance to go for detailed information. A List of Tools located in the Zip File is included as well
This document also contains the Draft Standard Operating Procedures for Supporting Children’s Community-Based Care Placements (SOP’s). These were developed from the Haiti response by Katherine Williamson for the IRC, and provide an example set of the tasks required by those identifying, assessing and placing separated and unaccompanied children in an emergency, in accordance with the national context and required procedures. These serve as an example and can assist in the development of SOP’s to suit the context and legal and policy framework in which you are working"
"The ARC resource pack provides an essential collection of information and training material on CD-ROM, to strengthen people’s capacity: to tackle the root causes of children’s vulnerabilities; to build effective child protection systems for use in emergencies and long-term development; [and] to ensure that no activities inadvertently compromise children’s rights or safety....The pack includes the latest standards and best practices and reflects the realities of present-day emergencies, with increased emphasis on natural disasters and internal displacement.....This guide explains what is on the CD-ROM and the range of users for whom it is relevant. It will help you to decide how to build ARC materials into your work and outlines the relationship between the ARC resource pack and other materials"
"This document focuses on implementing a case management system during the initial start-up phases of an emergency child protection project. The concepts are not exclusive to emergency projects and hold strong relevance to the inclusion of the system into existing development projects. The document provides useful guidelines and tools for improving social work"
This report analyses findings on child discipline from 35 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in low and middle-income countries in 2005 and 2006. Questions on child discipline were addressed to the mother (or primary caregiver) of one randomly selected child aged 2-14 years in each household. The questionnaire asked whether any member of the household had used various disciplinary practices with that child during the past month. The survey covered eight violent disciplinary practices, some of which were psychological (such as shouting and name calling) while others were physical (such as shaking and hitting). The surveys also collected information on three nonviolent forms of discipline, such as explaining why a behaviour is wrong. Finally, interviewers asked the mother (or primary caregiver) about her or his personal beliefs regarding the need for physical punishment in child rearing"
This handbook is "intended for child protection specialists working in complex emergencies and disasters. It provides essential information for those professionals tasked with initiating the Child Protection co-ordination mechanism within the Humanitarian Reform process and cluster protocols. The handbook represents the collective learning and thinking of the sector on how to optimise the impact of efforts for children through careful and strategic co-ordination, and how to avoid unintended harm through fragmented poorly coordinated responses. The expectation is that whenever it is needed, children’s protection will be an active and coordinated part of preparedness, response and recovery"
This practical guide provides information about the how to use the Child Protection Needs Assessment Toolkit, an inter-agency, cluster-specific rapid assessment to be used in the aftermath of a rapid-onset emergency. It is meant to provide a snapshot of urgent child protection related needs among the affected population within the immediate post-emergency context, as well as act as a stepping-stone for a more comprehensive process of assessing the impacts of the emergency
This practical tool enables readers to make cash transfer programming more accountable to children, by giving guidance on how to prevent and respond to child protection incidents more effectively. It covers the full programme cycle including preparation, planning, implementation and monitoring and all forms of cash transfer programming: conditional and unconditional cash grants, vouchers and cash-for-work
"This report summarizes the state of violence against children in the five years since the release of the UN Study. It is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, but it is illustrative of the continued pervasiveness of violence in children’s lives"
The purpose of this guideline is "to give practical guidance to the field teams that establish (Child Friendly Spaces) CFSs in different types of emergencies and contexts. They are also intended to guide advocacy efforts and donor practices in emergency settings where protection and well-being ought to be high priorities"
"These Guiding Principles are intended to serve the purpose of promoting and spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law and, in particular, of implementing the provisions protecting children affected by armed conflicts, especially children associated or previously associated with armed forces or armed groups. The Guiding Principles suggest a number of practical, regulatory and legal measures as means to encourage States to improve such protection. They are based mainly on binding international rules (taking into account the specific obligations of all relevant treaties and of customary law). They also refer to widely accepted instruments of a non-binding character ("soft law"). A checklist of the main obligations regarding children associated with armed forces and armed groups is provided in Annex IV"
This publication outlines the guiding principles which form the basis for action when children are unaccompanied, become separated from their families or other adults who they know, or are orphaned in disaster situations, armed conflicts or other crises. The guiding principles are intended primarily for national, international and non-governmental organizations and other associations concerned with separated children. They are also designed to assist governments and donors in meeting their obligations and taking funding decisions
This toolkit is a complete package for people working in safeguarding children across the world. It aims to support agencies at international, national and local levels to put these standards into practice. This revised toolkit for child protection includes material on children's participation in child protection. The toolkit has five components: Tool 1: Standards for child protection Tool 2: How to implement the standards Tool 3: Training for child protection Tool 4: Children's participation in child protection Tool 5: Film
Note: The original version of this document is also available to download in Arabic and Albanian
These guidelines are to assist in the care of children in emergencies. They are designed to serve as a reference manual for the evaluation and management of children in emergencies, and as the basis for the training of health care workers. The target audience is first level health workers who provide care to children under the age of 5 years. Physicians and health care workers with more advanced training are referred to the WHO Pocket Book of Hospital Care for Children: Guidelines for the Management of Common Illnesses with Limited Resources (2005)
"These standards are intended for use by those working on child protection or related areas of humanitarian action...The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action follow the structure of the Sphere standards. Each standard is accompanied by key actions, measurements (including indicators and targets), and guidance notes. Child protection in emergencies includes specific activities by child protection actors, whether national or community-based, and/or by humanitarian staff supporting local capacities. It also includes activities in other humanitarian sectors. The Minimum Standards therefore contain 26 standards: (a) 6 general standards to address child protection needs (b) 8 standards to ensure a quality child protection response (c) 4 standards to develop adequate child protection strategies and (d) 8 standards to ensure mainstreaming of child protection in other sectors"
The IMCI model handbook provides a detailed explanation of the IMCI case management guidelines. It is organized into seven main parts: overview of the IMCI process; assess and classify the sick child age 2 months up to 5 years; assess and classify the sick young infant age 1 week up to 2 months; identify treatment; treat the sick child or the sick young infant; communicate and counsel; and give follow-up care
Teaching institutions are advised to adapt the handbook in two ways: 1.to ensure that all text, charts and illustrations are consistent with nationally-adapted IMCI clinical guidelines, and 2.to ensure that its content and format corresponds to the teaching approach used by the institution
"These practice standards are intended to guide the practice of staff working to support children’s participation. Each standard is accompanied by a set of criteria that can be used as indicators to see whether or not the standard is being met"
"This manual is about how to protect children from sexual violence and sexual exploitation, specifically in disaster and emergency situations. It is not intended to be an academic report but instead is a practical guide that we hope will be of use to people working directly in the field. The aim is to provide fundamental information to assist personnel working in emergency situations in responding to protect children, in terms of what can be done before disaster strikes (which might be called ‘mitigation’ efforts), in the immediate aftermath (the ‘response’) and in the longer term reconstruction phase (sometimes called the ‘recovery’). We have also included recommended actions and key considerations to be taken into account in the event of sexual violence or sexual exploitation"
"This discussion paper examines the links between cash transfers and the positive and negative outcomes for children; in particular the role cash transfers have played in protecting children from harm, exploitation, abuse and violence. The objective of this paper is to identify ways in which cash transfer activities could support the protection of children affected by emergencies"
This book presents "the outcome of the first comprehensive global attempt to describe the scale of all forms of violence against children and its impact. Violence is a problem that calls for a multisectoral response. This report approaches the issue from the combined perspectives of human rights, public health and child protection. This report asserts that no violence against children is justifiable and all forms of violence are preventable. The commitments made at international and national levels and the accumulated knowledge described in this report give us the necessary tools to protect children from violence, to prevent it from happening in the first place, and to mitigate the consequences"
Note: the report is available in individual pdf files from the link above
Violence against people with disabilities
“"This in-depth guidance document issued in April 2011 was developed to enhance victim assistance. It illustrates the importance of accessibility, employment and education for survivors and persons with disabilities within the frameworks of the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"
"Children with disabilities are more vulnerable to violence, as well as more likely to experience psychosocial problems in situations of armed conflict than children with no disabilities. All children who live in conflict affected areas have the same rights to psychosocial support, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the case of disabled children, additionally the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, children with disabilities are often overlooked in psychosocial programmes. In this article, the authors examine the reasons behind this observed exclusion and suggest ways to increase the participation of children with disabilities"
Intervention, Vol 8, No 1
This document is the psychosocial module of the Introduction to Child Protection in Emergencies and Interagency Modular Training Package. This module is divided into the following sections:
Part 1 presents a background to psychosocial issues including the overall impact of emergencies on psychosocial well-being, psychosocial effects of emergencies on children, and legal framework and advocacy activities.
Part 2 intervention planning presents psychosocial programming principles and priority activities, and co-ordination and sector support.
Part 3 psychosocial programming presents addressing basic services and security developing community and family supports, focused supports, and referrals to specialised services
This comprehensive document will be of particular interest to NGOs, DPOs, international and national bodies and anyone else interested in child protection and psychosocial work with children and their families
Note: The core resources for this module are the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidance on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and the key interventions of the Sphere Handbook (2004) Standard for Mental and Social Aspects of Health
"WASH in Schools aims to support the provision of safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, and promotes lifelong health for children and their families...This guidebook is a resource for those involved in teaching and working with children in emergency preparedness, during an emergency and throughout the recovery period. It provides simple strategies for use and adaptation with all children and families to ensure a smooth and healthy transition to a healthy and accessible learning environment...The guidebook provides the information needed to ensure that every child knows about water, sanitation and hygiene. It is not a technical book about installing taps and building toilets. Instead it provides guidance on safe WASH behaviours that help children, families and teachers stay healthy and avoid life threatening diseases. Every emergency and child-friendly space or school is different, so the suggestions and ideas provided should be adapted to suit the local situation"
Note: a book of flashcards is available as a companion to the guidebook. Although this guidebook’s pictures were created for the Africa region, flashcard sets for Asia and Latin America are also available from the website
"Refugees with disabilities have specific needs and face particular forms of discrimination. As highlighted in the Executive Committee Conclusion No. 110 (LXI)-2010, it is important for UNHCR to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities who are of concern to the Office are met without discrimination. This places an onus on offices to develop a thorough understanding of the circumstances of persons with disabilities under their care. This note provides staff with guidance on a range of issues to consider in meeting these responsibilities"