Words Into Actions

Engaging children and youth in disaster risk reduction and resilience building
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Date of publication:  07 Apr 2020 Author:  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Publisher:  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Publication type:  Guide / Guidelines / Principle

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNODRR) has just realised Words into Action guidelines giving advice on how to effectively implement the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR) 2015 – 2030. Holding a people-centred approach, and designed for practitioners, authorities, youth and children, the guidelines offer a starting point that youngsters under the age of 30 are the ones who would gain most from reducing the risk of disasters, climate change and the realization of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is why, the 1st Section of the document is dedicated to the question How to meaningfully engage with them and ensure their right to safety discussing ‘key principles to guide DRR action– child and youth rights, gender equity, a lifecycle approach and inclusion – as well as children and youth perspectives on DRR priorities in their own words suggestions’.

The 2nd Section contains the kernel of the Sendai Framework and its priorities linking the concepts of disaster risk reduction, climate change and the SDGs while providing examples for action.

The 3rd Section seeks to answer on how to create and implement inclusive policies, strategies for and with children and youth having a diverse background. Topics such as gender equality, disability, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, migrant and displaced populations, socio-economic inequalities are well covered.

4th Section talks about a multi-sectoral approach covering areas such as education, health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), social and child protection, livelihoods, environment, public open spaces, and shelter, housing and human settlements, bringing up its advantages for building resilience.

5th Section rounds up with the value of using creativity and innovation. It shows how play, game, sports, creative arts and media carry learning and agency characteristics, and a capacity to build confidence, safety, sense of belonging and understanding of rights in the context of increased disaster risk in all of its dimensions.    

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