A Matter of Life and Death: Child protection programming's essential role in ensuring child wellbeing and survival during and after emergencies
The CPWG commissioned this research in order to address the consistent deprioritization of child protection in humanitarian action, reported year on year by child protection coordination groups and evidenced by statistics on funding and the findings of other research efforts in the humanitarian sector.
Support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is based on the idea of prioritized “life-saving” assistance to people in need. The CERF defines “Life-saving and/or core emergency humanitarian programmes” as those actions that “within a short time span remedy, mitigate or avert direct loss of life, physical and psychological harm or threats to a population or major portion thereof and/or protect their dignity”. The definition is based on the fundamental humanitarian principle of placing the people and communities affected at the centre and applying a rights-based approach, in particular the right to life with dignity. The CERF now lists several aspects of child protection programming as life-saving interventions.14
Child protection has increasingly gained recognition in recent decades. It is now acknowledged as an area of stand-alone programing as evidenced by the existence of global and national-level humanitarian coordination mechanisms. A significant number of UN agencies, international NGOs and donors have dedicated child protection staff or teams at global, regional and national levels.
However, studies including a review of protection financing commissioned by the Global Protection Cluster have confirmed that protection and its various components, including child protection, are poorly understood and communicated.15