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Neglected Needs?: Establishing the extent to which non-material needs of children in emergencies are met by the national disaster plans of Jamaica
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper seeks to review the national disaster plans of Jamaica from the perspective of child protection and wellbeing in emergencies. The focus of the review is on needs associated with education, psychosocial support and family reunification (including care of unaccompanied and separated children) as these needs are often given less priority in an emergency. These are referred to collectively as the non-material needs of children in emergencies. Providing for the non-material needs of children in emergencies is an important part of preventing children from experiencing physical or sexual abuse, psychological distress, neglect and harm and it is therefore vital that these are not an afterthought but an integral part of planning for an emergency.

In order to review these plans a tool in the form of a checklist of measures of international standards was compiled and applied to the plans. This paper finds that the national disaster plans of Jamaica fail to meet every measure on the compiled checklist. Children are not even mentioned as a vulnerable group in need of special attention nor are measures defined to prevent them from long-term or short term harm. The limited or non-existent extent to which children are considered is furthermore found to be an issue in national disaster planning of other states. This paper therefore recommends that the national disaster plans of Jamaica, as well as other states, be revised in partnership with local stakeholders (including children, the ultimate stakeholders) taking into consideration the findings presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
children, child protection, child wellbeing, emergency, disaster, non-material needs, family reunification, psychosocial support, education
National Category
Health Sciences Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219919OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219919DiVA: diva2:703550
Subject / course
International Humanitarian Action
Educational program
Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action
Available from: 2014-03-07 Created: 2014-03-07 Last updated: 2014-04-11Bibliographically approved

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