Risk Reduction and Resilience
When it comes to risk reduction and resilience, a ‘child-rights perspective’ should be taken to ensure the rights of children and youth to safety and survival, protection, development, and participation are secured throughout the approach. Taking this approach, one is concerned with all the hazards and risks that can impact children and youth (especially in the education sector). Education authorities should take a helpful, all-hazards approach that covers natural and climate-change-induced, technological, biological, health, conflict, violence, and everyday hazards, as shown below.
Natural and climate change-induced hazards:
- Land: earthquake, landslide/rockslide, debris or mud-flow, glacial lake outburst, volcanic eruption, avalanche
- Wind and Water: flood, tropical cyclone, windstorm, coastal erosion, tsunami, bridge/dam break, drought, water shortage, hailstorm, sandstorm, lightning
- Fire: wildfire, structural fire
- Temperature: extreme cold, extreme heat
- Nuclear, biological, radiological, and chemical threats (including hazardous materials and waste, pesticides, asbestos & paint & cleaning agenda), radiation, power shortage, road accidents (bus, car, bicycle, pedicab/rickshaw, etc.) and other transportation accidents (train, plane, boat).
Biological and health hazards:
- Pandemics (HIV, flu, Avian Flu, Ebola, COVID-19, etc.), epidemics (gastrointestinal), vector-borne diseases (Malaria, Dengue, Zika), unsafe or insufficient water, unsafe or insufficient food, air pollution (incl. molds, water pollution, pest infestations ( rodents, insects, venomous animals)
Conflict and violence:
- Physical and humiliating punishment, abuse, neglect & exploitation, peer violence, sexual and gender-based violence, cyber-bullying, online violence, civilian and military conflict, gang violence, attacks on schools, students and staff, military use of facilities, child recruitment
Everyday dangers and threats:
- Vehicle accidents, drowning, playground accidents, alcohol and substance abuse, separation from family, unsafe routes to schools (in or through water, falling coconuts, animal crossings), displacement and migration, child labor, and child marriage.
In addition, conditions that could increase exposure to hazards and exacerbate risks, including the lack of basic necessities (warmth, water, food, light, ventilation, sanitary facilities, emergency medical care, and shelter).
While for many years the focus was on avoiding major disasters, it is now understood that learning how to identify and reduce risks, and to be prepared to respond to hazards impacts of all sizes and types, is more effective than just imagining the catastrophic ones. In fact, there is no such thing as a “natural” disaster anymore – as even the climate is not quite natural. It is important to convey the tremendous power one has to identify and reduce all risks and increase the resilience of the most vulnerable people and environments.
Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)
GADRRRES is a multi-stakeholder platform comprised of UN Agencies, International Non-Governmental Agencies, leading humanitarian and development organizations, and private sector organisations, as well as similar regional alliances. Its mission is to ensure that children and adults in all learning facilities are safe from all hazards, and that schools contribute to building a culture of safety and resilience, with the objectives to:
- Strengthen global coordination and collective impact for school safety
- Advocate for Comprehensive School Safety
- Improve global information, resources and knowledge management, research and capacity-development for Comprehensive School Safety
This collection was developed with the support of Marla Petal, Principal Advisor for Urban Resilience & School Safety, Save the Children.