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The Impact of Protection Interventions on Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Humanitarian Crises

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Feinstein International Center, Tufts University,Oxfam International,UKaid

This systematic review, commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme and carried out by a research team from Save the Children UK, Save the Children Sweden and McMaster University, identifies, synthesizes and evaluates existing evidence of the impact of protection interventions on unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in humanitarian crises since 1983. 

Of the 5,535 records identified through a series of searches (academic databases, grey literature websites) and a call for documents, the research team identified 23 studies that were eligible for inclusion. The extent of the evidence is therefore limited.

Overall, the quality of the evidence is modest. Most are evaluated as of low to medium quality. The risk of bias (which is converse to the quality rating) is rated as ‘high’ in seven of the 23 eligible studies; eight are rated as ‘high/medium’ risk of bias; six are rated as medium; and two as ‘low/medium’. These 23 studies include 26 different case studies of humanitarian interventions with UASC. Of these case studies, 21 focus on countries in Africa, two on Indonesia, one on Haiti, one on Guatemala and one on Syrian refugees in the Middle East. The focus of the evidence is therefore heavily skewed towards conflicts in Africa. 


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