Anticipatory Action and Child Protection: Acting Early to Better Protect Children in Emergencies

Children face increased risks of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, both as direct and indirect consequences of emergencies. Pre-existing protection concerns are typically exacerbated, while new ones are likely to appear, creating both short-term and long-lasting life-threatening risks.  Thus, this IFRC issue brief outlines existing and potential links between anticipatory action and child protection and proposes practical recommendations on how anticipatory action approaches, such as forecast based financing, can be adapted to further reduce the negative impact of emergencies on children.

Designed with, and for, child protection practitioners and people working in impact-based forecasting, early warning and early action, the compiled information and recommendations in this brief will be useful for all involved in the development and implementation of anticipatory humanitarian action.  Anticipatory action is an important approach for development and humanitarian actors to undertake, taking advantage of substantial cost and time savings by acting in advance of emergencies. 

Currently, over 60 countries are implementing anticipatory approaches, and there is growing interest in moving from small-scale pilots to anticipatory action at scale. Scaling up means 1) dedicating more funding so more people can receive assistance ahead of predictable shocks, 2) expanding geographic coverage and types of shocks that can be anticipated, and 3) investing in local capacities and systems to respond collectively in a coordinated manner. Scaling up is also an opportunity to do better by including child protection in the core of anticipatory action.

The brief is available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.  

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