Children and Young People's Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction:agency and resilience

Mort, Maggie and Rodriguez Giralt, Israel and Delicado, Ana (2020) Children and Young People's Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction:agency and resilience. Policy Press, Bristol. ISBN 9781447354390

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Disasters are becoming increasingly common and complex, not just because of their causes, normally a complex combination of environmental, social and cultural factors, but also because of the quantity and diversity of players and strategies that must be involved and coordinated in order to cope with them. This complexity is underpinned by the diversity of reactions and behaviours by the populations affected by the disaster (shaped by social class, age, gender, ethnicity, etc.) and how such disasters shape, and are shaped by, the culture(s) of the various groups affected. However, legal frameworks and bureaucratic emergency plans tend to homogenise the population and overlook the distinctive features of the various groups and individuals affected. This is particularly so in the case of children and young people. They are one of the most severely affected groups in a disaster situation and, in part, this is because their voice and agency are systematically ignored. They are made physically, politically and emotionally vulnerable by being excluded from e.g. the development of community preparedness initiatives. After a severe flood, one young girl told us: ‘Adults need to understand that children become more scared and agitated when they do not know what is going on. Children have the right to know’. This book will provide arguments for a transformation in children’s roles in disaster, evidence for the effectiveness of their input into decision- making and some practical steps (a framework) to assist policy makers and practitioners create child centred ways of working in disasters. We will show how such policy change benefits at risk communities as a whole.

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21 Nov 2019 16:05
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12 Sep 2023 03:48