While assuring the physical safety of children is crucial,childprotection encompasses more than stopping attacks or movingchildren out of harm’s way.It includes measures that promotechildren’s physical and emotional well-being,provide them equalaccess to basic services,and safeguard their legal and human rights.After a conflict,protection programs provide long-term support tothose who have suffered.The best protection measures
violence and abuse fromhappening in the first place.They strengthen the ability of individualsand communities to protect themselves and their children fromfuture threats,laying the groundwork for lasting security and stability.Even at the earliest stages of an emergency a community-basedapproach,which mobilizes resources among the affected populationand creates a sense of community,is critical in helping childrenand their families recover from an emergency and begin to rebuildtheir lives.EFFECTIVE CHILD PROTECTION PROGRAMS EXIST BUTFUNDING IS INADEQUATE.As outlined in a recent report by theSecretary-General of the United Nations,donors did not fundchildren’s programming at the same level as other projects in theUnited Nations Consolidated Appeals (CAP).
On average,donorsprovided 73 percent of funding requested for all projects in the CAP,but only 60 percent of funding requested for children’s projects overthe same period of time.The report also noted that 60 percent of the UN and NGOstaff surveyed in 28 countries indicated that funding levels wereinsufficient to meet even the most basic protection needs of childrenin these situations.Furthermore,projects focused on providing childprotection activities received less funding than traditional childsurvival projects during this period.
CHILD PROTECTION IN EMERGENCIES IS BASED ON ANEXTENSIVE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK.TheConvention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides acomprehensive framework of children’s rights,as well mechanisms of accountability.The Convention recognizes children’s right to be freefrom abuse and neglect,sexual exploitation,trafficking,abduction,torture,deprivation of liberty,and other forms of maltreatment at alltimes and provides for special protections during times of conflict.The Rome Statute defines the “most serious crimes of international concern” to come under the International CriminalCourt and classifies rape and other forms of sexual violence,recruitment or use of children under the age of 15 into armedgroups as well as attacks against schools as war crimes.In addition,the International Labour Organization’s Convention182 declares child soldiering to be one of the worst forms of childlabor and prohibits forced or compulsory recruitment of childrenunder the age of 18 in armed conflict.The Optional Protocol to theCRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict sets18 as theage limit for compulsory recruitment and participation in hostilitiesand a minimum age of 16 for voluntary recruitment.These instruments,together with the relevant provisions of theGeneva Conventions,the Genocide Convention,the 1997 Mine BanTreaty,the 1951 Refugee Convention,the1967 Protocol protectingrefugee children and several Security Council Resolutions (1261,1314,1379,1460,1539),constitute a strong and comprehensive bodyof legal instruments which provide standards on the protection of children affected by armed conflict and emergencies.
WHAT IS CHILD PROTECTION?
COUNTRIES/TERRITORIES WHERE CHILD SOLDIERS ARE INVOLVED IN ACTIVE CONFLICT (2001-04)*
AFRICAAngolaBurundiCentral AfricanRepublicCôte d’IvoireChadCongo,DemocraticRepublicCongo,RepublicGuineaLiberiaRwandaSierra LeoneSomaliaUgandaAMERICAS andthe CARIBBEANColombiaASIA/PACIFICAfghanistanIndiaIndonesiaMyanmar (Burma)PhilippinesNepalSri LankaEUROPE andEURASIARussiaMIDDLE EAST andNORTH AFRICAIsrael/OccupiedPalestinian TerritoriesIranIraqSudanYemen
The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers,
Child soldiers Global Report 2004
,(London:Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers,2004) p,2.