Misguided Kindness: Making the right decisions for children in emergencies

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Save the Children UK

In every humanitarian crisis, concerned outsiders respond to tragedy with actions that take children away from their families and communities – often with unintended but damaging consequences. Again and again, girls and boys are ‘rescued’ out of affected areas into orphanages or adopted into new families elsewhere in the belief that they will be better cared for away from their devastated homes. Using lessons learnt in emergencies, from the genocide in Rwanda to the Asian Tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti, this new report, Misguided Kindness, demonstrates what action is needed to keep families together during crises and to bring separated children back into a safe and nurturing family life. Above all, this report urges people to take action to make sure that their assistance is channelled towards interventions that help children in emergencies rather than potentially cause them harm.

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Alternative care

Children and armed conflict

Children in foster care

Emergency settings

Family tracing and reunification (FTR)

Humanitarian crises

Natural disasters

Orphaned children

Separated children

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