Children and Young People Commitment to Disaster Risk Reduction
During this year's Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, three young people told more than 2600 representatives from governments, the private sector and civil society WHY and HOW children can be involved in reducing disaster risk, and keeping themselves and their communities safe.
16-year old Andre and 14-year old Tricia, from the Philippines, and 17-year old Johnson from Kenya, were selected to participate in the Global Platform by their communities because of their keen interest in disaster risk reduction. Before a house packed with government and community leaders from around the world, they put the interests of children and young people on the agenda at the largest Global Platform ever held.
They also launched a five-point Children's Charter for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The Charter highlights 5 priorities identified through consultations with more than 600 children in 21 countries. Education, child protection and access to basic information were the main issues the children believed necessary to reduce the impact of disasters and climate change on their families and communities.
The 5 priorities in the Children's Charter for DRR are:
- Schools must be safe - education must be uninterrupted.
- Child protection must be a priority, before, during and after a disaster.
- Children and young people have the right to participate and to access the information they need.
- Community infrastructure must be safe, and relief and reconstruction must help reduce future disaster risk.
- Disaster risk reduction must reach the most vulnerable.
Download the Children's Charter
Why Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction?
... To let the world know that children and young people are partners in reducing disaster risk.
- Children and young people can and should be involved in reducing risk to disasters. This includes getting organized to lobby for more investment in disaster risk reduction at the local and community level by governments and companies.
- Their actions to reduce disaster risk need to be recognized, including how these actions link into national and community development such as achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
... To promote more partnerships with children and young people in disaster risk reduction
- Governments, companies and communities need to systematically include children and young people's participation in their decision-making processes for building disaster resilient societies.
- Policy makers should recognize that children and young people-led organizations and initiatives are a valuable resource and involve them in DRR efforts.
... To connect and build bridges and understanding among children and young people
- Children and young people's networks and partnerships need to be encouraged across cultures.
- Children and young people need to be empowered and supported as agents of social inclusion and safety.