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Preparing and strengthening child-critical systems and services

Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 February 2024 I WP3346

CHIldren displaced in a changing climate

In order to improve outcomes for children and young people at risk of future displacement and to deliver on the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework, SDGs, Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees and SG Action Agenda, participants agreed that governments, donors, partners and the private sector should join forces to adapt child-critical services (including education, health, social protection and child protection services) to be shock-responsive, portable and inclusive, including for those already displaced or on the move.

Participants discussed the importance of adapting services in hotspot locations to be resilient to the impacts of climate change and prepared to reach and protect the most vulnerable before, during and after disaster strikes. Designing services and infrastructure based on a displacement risk analysis with flexibility and surge capacity to absorb displaced populations was flagged as critical. 

Designing services to be portable and flexible and able to follow children as they move within countries or across borders should also be prioritised. Examples flagged included prioritising portable skills and education certification, and online access to identity documents, health records and other information that enables children to reunite with family, maintain access to healthcare, continue to learn and stay connected with their communities. Inclusion was also highlighted as a critical consideration. Poorer children who already face economic disadvantage are more likely to live in hotspot locations and face disproportionate impacts from climatic events. Addressing inequities means setting up systems and capacity for shock-responsive social protection, including cash transfer mechanisms to support children affected by climate shocks, and ensuring equitable access to quality, essential services for all children including those most vulnerable and marginalised due to gender, disability, legal status, and other intersecting factors.

  • SPOTLIGHT: Shock-responsive, adaptive and inclusive social protection

    Shock-responsive, adaptive and inclusive social protection is one of the key mechanisms that can provide timely and comprehensive support to the most vulnerable and impacted by climate-induced shocks loss and damages.

    It provides a buffer for households to take risk for adapting and diversifying their livelihood systems to the changing climate. This in turn reduces their vulnerability to climate shocks.  

    By building resilience of households to climate change, adaptive social protection can ensure that households are able to maintain investments in human capital when a shock hits without having to migrate in distress. 

    If designed in an inclusive manner, migrant and displaced households can be supported as they move and settle in host locations.

Participants also discussed the importance of anticipatory action, disaster risk reduction (DRR), early warning systems and planning for pre-emptive evacuations, as well as managing mobility options, including community relocation, in the context of climate change. The option to move safely, voluntarily and with dignity from weather-related hotspots to cities or across borders can provide opportunities for young people to adapt to a changing climate as they pursue their aspirations and livelihoods and needs to be part of our ‘toolbox’ of options. Planning for pre-emptive evacuations and relocations ahead of time with and for affected communities is critical – but at the same time can be incredibly complex.

  • SPOTLIGHT: Community relocation planning in Fiji

    The Standard Operating Procedures for Planned Relocation (SOP) developed in Fiji is one of the most comprehensive national documents in the world, providing detailed instructions and guidance on processes for climate-induced planned relocation. The Fiji Government places high priority in keeping at-risk communities safe and in strengthening their resilience against the impacts of climate change. Protecting children’s rights in the context of community relocation can only be achieved if Fijian communities and families are provided with the necessary support and knowledge to capably adapt to the climate crisis.

Potential next steps
  • Share/co-create more learning and training materials on ‘how to do’ child rights and child sensitivity in climate action.

Internal Displacement Policy and Action


Child-centred and displacement-sensitive climate finance

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