Child protection assessment in humanitarian emergencies: case studies from Georgia, Gaza, Haiti and Yemen

Child Abuse Negl. 2011 Dec;35(12):1045-52. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.08.004. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Objectives: The paper reviews the experiences of conducting child protection assessments across four humanitarian emergencies where violence and insecurity, directly or indirectly, posed a major threat to children. We seek to identify common themes emerging from these experiences and propose ways to guide the planning and implementation of assessments that effectively identify, and suggest means of response to, threats to children's rights and well-being in emergency settings.

Methods: In the context of a field evaluation of an inter-agency resource kit, crisis settings where an inter-agency assessment of child protection had been considered in the period August 2008 to July 2010 were identified. Email correspondence, telephone-based structured interviews and documentary review collated information from child protection coordinating agencies from a total of twenty sites, the minority of which had proceeded to complete an assessment. This paper presents case studies of the experience in Georgia (following the conflict between Russian and Georgian forces in August 2008), Gaza (following the Israeli military incursion beginning in December 2008), Haiti (following the earthquake of January 2010), and Yemen (following the ceasefire agreement between the government and rebel forces in early 2010). CASE STUDY FINDINGS: In each setting the context of the humanitarian emergency is outlined. The processes of the planning (and, where appropriate, implementation) of the child protection assessment is described. Where available, the findings of the child protection assessment and their use in shaping interventions are summarized.

Practice implications: Case studies document experience across humanitarian settings widely divergent in terms of the nature of the emergency, social-political context, and institutional capacity. Despite such differences, analysis suggests securing inter-agency coordination, preparation and capacity building, and means of ensuring timeliness of findings to be recurrent themes in the effective mobilization of an effective assessment able to inform programming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • Child
  • Child Welfare* / statistics & numerical data
  • Earthquakes
  • Emergencies
  • Georgia (Republic)
  • Haiti
  • Humans
  • Middle East
  • United Nations
  • Warfare
  • Yemen