Emergencies, such as conflicts, disasters or epidemics, expose families to some risks that make them vulnerable to disease, malnutrition, and violence, and sometimes it can be devastated leading to psychological trauma.
Knowing the right information and support, families would be able to establish measures that map out what to do in emergency situationsns.
Millions of families across the glob are living in places of conflict. Young Girls and boys, and women are the most affected by emergencies.
According to research Up to millions of people are displaced due to disasters. In 2013, almost 22 million people were displaced by disasters, and almost three times as many as were newly displaced by conflict and violence Climate change could increase these numbers.
Displacement can lead to family separations which can increase children’s vulnerability to discrimination, abuse, violence, poverty and exploitation.
Violence, Conflict, War and disasters put families at risk of disease and malnutrition.
During disasters and Conflict, access to health care is will be reduced, there will be food shortages and scarcity of water as a result of overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions.
There maybe total closed down of school , since schools are frequently targeted for attacks and abductions.
In conflict environments, young girls and boys are particularly vulnerable to forced recruitment by armed forces and groups. While the women are also at risk of abduction, trafficking and sexual violence, including rape.
The followings are what every family has right to know about emergencies
1. In emergencies, children have the same rights as in non-emergency situations, whether the emergency is a conflict, disaster or epidemic.
2. families should plan ahead and take steps to prepare for emergencies; at home, at school and in the community.
3. The most common diseases during disasters are Measles, diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria, malnutrition and neonatal which are the major causes of child deaths , particularly during emergencies.
4. Outbreak of disease can cause an emergency. In the case of Ebola, Lassa Fever, bird flu and other diseases spread by close personal contact, those who are ill should be separated and isolated until they are no longer infectious.
5. Mothers, even malnourished mothers, can still breastfeed even under the stressful conditions of emergencies.
6. Children have the right to be protected from violence in emergencies. Governments, civil society, communities and families have the responsibility to protect them.
7. It is very important for children to be cared for by their parents or other usual caregivers because it makes children feel more secure.
If separation occurs, every effort should be made to reunite the child with her or his family, if it is in the child’s best interest.
8. The results of stress caused by disasters and armed conflict can frighten and anger children.
In such incident, children need special attention and extra affection.
They should be kept as safe as possible and supported in resuming normal activities.
9. Children have the right to education, even during emergencies. Attending a safe, child-friendly school helps reinforce a sense of normalcy and start the healing process.
10.Children and their families should stay only in areas that have been declared safe and avoid unknown objects during conflicts