Every year, over 220 million people are affected by natural hazards and related disasters and half of them are children. The changing climate increases the frequency and severity of climate-related hazards in the last decade, threatening children rights’ and survival all over the world, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities, and creating new ones. Girls and boys and the entire school community are facing multiple risks, not only of natural hazards but also man-made hazards relating to war, conflict, abuse, persecution. The multi-risks impeding children’s right to education are emerging in Southeast Asian region. The recent research done by the ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative (ASSI) reports that sudden catastrophic disaster are oftentimes triggered by a several geophysical sources of hazards in Indonesia, typhoon results in secondary hazards such as: flooding, landslides, and increased prevalence of disease in the Philippines, haze triggering health issues for children and teachers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore (ASSI, 2019).
The current Covid-19 pandemic is impacting 91% of world’s student population due to school closure (UNESCO, 2020) and it poses challenges in the education continuity, especially with those marginalized and underprivileged students in remote areas. With millions of students spending more time indoors on internet, there is an imminent risk of online harassment and exploitation and all factors taken into account – disability, race, sexuality, ethnicity, girls particularly experience the crisis differently (Plan International, 2020) and this creates protection issues for them.
In disaster, conflict and other crisis situations children are often exposed to new risks or exacerbated threats, such as physical violence, exploitation or family separation. While child protection actors place a stronger focus on understanding and mitigating the numerous protection risks in a child’s environment, in the family, at school, and in their community, they often lack a solid assessment and analysis of hazards and vulnerabilities related to climate, disaster and conflict-related risks that impact on the protection situation of girls and boys.
Plan International introduced a child-centred multi risk assessment that aims to enable disaster risk reduction actors (staff, partners, children and communities) to comprehensively understand multiple-risks in a child’s environment, including pre-existing risks and new risks that emerge during and after crisis situations, such as natural hazards, conflict and violence and their impacts on girls and boys’ rights. This guide is complemented by a training module, which aims to build the assessment team’s knowledge and skills in key areas such as: DRR and child protection, inclusive and safe child participation and in the multi-risk assessment framework and tools.
To find out more and use this tool, please visit this link.