In recent years, and especially since 2013 there have been alarming trends and a significant increase in the killing and maiming of children as a result of accidents with explosive ordnance (EO). With the humanitarian imperative to better protect children from explosive hazards and to ensure that child victims have access to the assistance required, the Child Protection, Mine Action AoRs, Education, Health clusters and respective lead agencies agreed on and committed to four main collective outcomes to guide the response:

© J.M. Vargas/HI – Jemerson, 12, lost his left hand in 2014 after a mine left after the conflict which hit Colombia. The accident was in Corinto municipality (Cauca department) in Colombia. Thanks to HI support, he received rehab sessions and psychosocial support. Today, he follows drawing class at the cultural centrum of his municipality.

1. Prevention: Reduce the number of children who have an accident with an explosive ordnance;
2. Reduce Mortality: Increase the survival rate of child casualties through increased access to first aid, access to safe blood cold chains, trauma surgery, and ongoing medical care;
3. Increase personal capacity of child survivors through rehabilitation, as well as mental health & psycho-social support (MPHSS) of both child survivors and their caregivers;
4. Social Inclusion: Increase inclusion of child survivors in family, community and school life.

In order to build on efforts to achieve these outcomes increasing inter-cluster collaboration and cross-sectoral approaches has been essential. As of January 2020, a technical reference group (TRG) was formed to contribute to these efforts, comprised of experts and coordinators from AoR and Cluster lead agencies, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Landmine Monitor, Humanity and Inclusion, OCHA, Mines Advisory Group, and the IFRC/ICRC.

Moreover, a Senior Protection Advisor deployed to the clusters in close collaboration with the TRG, has developed (is developing) an “Explosive Ordnance Child Casualties: Prevention and Response Package” in support of more systematic inclusion of EO prevention and response for children in the humanitarian programme cycle, where and when needed most.

UNICEF Guidance relevant to VA for Children

Child Protection Minimum Standards

Explosive Ordnance Child Casualties: Prevention and Response

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