Ambassador Betty E. King
Permanent Representative of the United States Mission in Geneva
Remarks at the launch of the Child Protection Funding in Emergencies Report
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Mission of the United States of America for the launch of this important report entitled, “Too Little, Too Late: Child Protection Funding in Emergencies” (PDF 259 KB) which was written by Save the Children on behalf of the Child Protection Working Group. As a strong contributor to child protection programming, the United States is honored to host today’s event to highlight the importance of supporting child protection efforts and programming in emergencies.
Around the world, women and children compose the majority of victims of conflict and natural disasters, refugees and internally displaced people. We must do more to protect these children who are at heightened risk of separation from family members; more vulnerable to violence and abuse than other children; and suffer an inherent disadvantage in accessing basic services, such as shelter, proper nutrition, healthcare and education in times of crisis.
The United States has placed strong emphasis on ensuring that adequate protection measures are in place for children, especially girls, in programming for conflict-affected populations.
For example, the United States works with UNHCR in support of its best-interest determination (BID) guidelines for unaccompanied minors. We also support UNHCR’s five commitments to refugee children which include: education, prevention of and response to sexual exploitation and abuse, reunification after separation from families and caregivers, and protection from military recruitment.
The United States is also committed to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiary populations –particularly displaced children who are at increased risk of victimization – and will continue in our programming to highlight education for refugee and other displaced children and adolescents, as a way to minimize the long-term impact of displacement and build productive members of society.
The report that is being launched today, will allow us once again to reflect on the types of child protection programs we are supporting and whether our efforts thus far have been effective. More importantly, it will provide the opportunity to look closely at how we and our multilateral partners prioritize these issues.
We hope that the dissemination of this report will embolden the wider donor and humanitarian community to take every opportunity to work within our respective organizations and governments on how we can all better protect the rights and welfare of children in emergencies around the world.
We now have for you a short video that was developed by the Child Protection Working Group on the importance of funding child protection in emergencies.