Interagency Review of Justice for Children in a Humanitarian Context (CPMS 14)

This report suggests that the number of child-victims and the number of children in conflict with the law rise significantly during all types of emergencies. According to practitioners, conflict and civil unrest negatively impact justice for children more than natural disasters. Strengthening justice systems for children in humanitarian contexts requires both a longterm perspective -- including the preparedness and reconstruction phases -- as well as a short-term perspective, when an emergency strikes. Since many relevant programmes fall under a development umbrella, emergency preparedness is often weak or altogether lacking. While general systems-strengthening can de facto be emergency preparedness, this may not be sufficient if political risks or the breakdown of the justice system that regularly occur in a crisis are not foreseen and addressed. Important gaps exist between development programmes addressing justice for children and activities or projects undertaken in humanitarian contexts. Justice for children issues are therefore more likely to be addressed in emergency contexts where programmes have already been in existence before the disaster. 

In order both to improve child-friendly interventions for boys and girls who come in contact with the justice system in emergency settings and to increase awareness of the child protection minimum standard on justice for children, specific guidance and tools should be developed for humanitarian practitioners and capacity developed around Standard 14 to make it more applicable in the field.

Published 2018-07-27