Children in Emergency & Crisis Situations

Democratic Republic of Congo: Bunia riots
Democratic Republic of Congo: Bunia riots
Photo : EC/ECHO/François Goemans

On 5 February 2008 a Communication "A Special Place for Children in EU External Action" - English PDF File was adopted under the joint responsibility of Commissioners Louis Michel (Development and humanitarian aid), Benita Ferrero-Waldner (External relations) and Franco Frattini (Justice, freedom and security).

Together with two accompanying working documents "The EU Action Plan on Children's Rights in External Action" - English PDF File and "Children in Emergency & Crisis Situations" - English PDF File, the Communication aims at establishing a framework for a comprehensive EU approach towards the protection and promotion of children’s rights and coverage of their needs in third countries.

The Communication calls for an approach to integrate children’s rights and needs into political dialogue, trade negotiations, development cooperation dialogue on poverty reduction policies and governance.

The first working document addresses three key issues on children's rights in the context of the EU external relations and development cooperation. It presents a set of guiding principles; it identifies priorities for action including targets and indicators in the form of a logical framework and a timeline; and it also defines a framework for monitoring, coordination and accountability.

The second working document concentrates on children in emergency and crisis situations:

  • Presenting the general context of humanitarian actions in favour of children and their specific vulnerabilities;
  • Framing the humanitarian aid interventions for:
    • separated and unaccompanied children
    • children associated with armed forces and groups
    • education in emergencies
      All three sectors are on the boundaries of humanitarian aid interventions and thus the subject of considerable debate. The question of transition towards stabilisation and longer term development is also crucial for these issues.
  • Following-up on the Consensus on humanitarian aid and serving as a basis for reflection by Member States.