The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (the Alliance) is a global network of operational agencies, academic institutions, policymakers, donors and practitioners. Its mission is to support the efforts of humanitarian actors to achieve high-quality and effective child protection interventions in both refugee and non-refugee humanitarian settings. The Alliance achieves this primarily by facilitating inter-agency collaboration on child protection and by producing technical standards and tools.
The Alliance envisions a world in which children are protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence in all humanitarian settings.
Today, one in four children lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster. Girls and boys face daily risks to their lives and threats to their future physical and mental health. Evidence shows that illness, developmental challenges and even early death are connected to childhood hardship and exposure to violence. Children’s survival, well-being and healthy development are seriously jeopardised in humanitarian settings.
Given these immediate and long-term risks, it is an urgent priority for all those working in humanitarian settings to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. While child protection actors play a central role, all sectors need to be involved in preventing and responding holistically to the risks and vulnerabilities that affect girls and boys in crises. Humanitarian efforts must be predictable, swift, well-planned and responsive to children's and families' own priorities. Actions need to be grounded in rights, informed by evidence and measurable in their results. It is also essential to strengthen the formal and informal systems that will continue to protect children after the emergency response is over.
Taken together, all these requirements comprise the inter-agency Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. Since their launch in 2012, the standards have contributed significantly to the professionalisation of the sector. Widely known and used by child protection and other experts in humanitarian settings, they have markedly improved the quality of our work. As part of the Humanitarian Standards Partnership, they have strengthened our accountability to those we serve.
This second edition of Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action has been realised through the hard work of over 1,900 individuals from 85 agencies and 82 countries. It is a true example of inter-agency and inter-sectoral collaboration. This edition strengthens the standards' emphasis on principles, evidence and prevention and increases their applicability to internal displacement and refugee contexts. We believe these changes will further professionalise the sector and add to the rigour and quality of programmes at the field level. We urge all those involved in humanitarian action to take this opportunity to implement and promote these standards.
The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action wishes to thank everybody who has collaborated on the 2019 Edition of the CPMS.
Full acknowledgments and other added resources can be found in the online version of the CPMS at https://alliancecpha.org/en/CPMS_home.
Special thanks are due to the following agencies and individuals who gave their time and expertise.
CPMS Working Group member agencies
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Many thanks to the following agencies who organised consultation workshops:
Afghanistan: Save the Children Afghanistan; Armenia: Children’s Support Center, Fund for Armenian Relief; Bangladesh/Cox’s Bazar: Child Protection Sub-Sector; Canada: International Child Protection Network of Canada; Colombia: Corporación Infancia y Desarrollo; Democratic Republic of Congo: BIFERD/DRC; Iraq: Child Protection Working Group (supported by UNICEF, UNHCR, Mission East and Save the Children’s Fund Kurdistan); Kenya: Child Protection Working Group (supported by UNICEF and Save the Children); LAC Region: UNICEF LACRO; Myanmar: Child Protection Sub-Cluster; Nigeria: Center for Community Health and Development International (CHAD) and Terre des hommes; Papua New Guinea: World Vision; Somalia: Child Protection Working Group (supported by CISP, UNICEF and the Government of Somalia); South Sudan: Child Protection Working Group (supported by UNICEF and Save the Children); Sudan: Global Aid Hand and UNICEF; Syria: Hurras Network/ Syria; Turkey: Nirengi Association; Syria: Children of One World Association (BİR DÜNYA ÇOCUK); and Uganda: Child Protection Sub-Cluster.
Save the Children and Terre des hommes each contributed a senior staff member to coordinate and manage the drafting process. Special thanks are due to these organisations, to Minja Peuschel and Susan Wisniewski, and to Susanna Davies and Joanna Wedge (from July/August 2019).
Finally, our deepest gratitude goes to the children all around the world, including our own, who inspire, instruct and encourage us in our humanitarian work.
Editors: Proteknôn Consulting Group, LLC., led by Hannah Thompson and Kristen Castrataro.
Graphic design by: Tiery Fresneau.
Layout by: River Valley Technologies.
Online consultation management: Markus Forsberg and Kim Morral of PHAP.
Donors: This edition was made possible with the financial support of USAID/ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Suggested citation: The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, 2019 Edition, 2019.
For feedback or suggestions for the improvement of this publication, please contact the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action CPMS Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Icons used in the CPMS
Adolescence: all children aged 9–17 years
Displacement: individuals who are forced to flee their usual place of residence, including asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced people
Early childhood: all children aged 0–8 years
Infectious disease outbreaks
Prevention of child protection risks
Implementation and enforcement of laws
Norms and values
Parent and caregiver support
Income and economic strengthening
Response and support services
Education and life skills
Icons related to the integration of child protection across sectors
Integration across all sectors
Integration with food security
Integration with livelihoods
Integration with education
Integration with health
Integration with nutrition
Integration with water, sanitation and hygiene
Integration with shelter and settlement
Integration with camp management
Acronyms and abbreviations
Who does what, where, when and for whom
Accountability to affected population
Alternative care in emergencies
Best interests determination
Children associated with armed forces or armed groups
Community-based child protection
Certain conventional weapons
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Child, early and forced marriage
Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability
Case Management Task Force
Country Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting (on grave violations against children)
- CP AoR
Child Protection Area of Responsibility
Child protection case management
Child protection in humanitarian action
Child Protection Information Management System
Cash and voucher assistance
Disaster risk reduction
Early childhood development
Explosive remnants of war
Family tracing and reunification
Gender-based Violence Information Management System
Inter-agency Standing Committee
International Committee of the Red Cross / Crescent
Identification, documentation, tracing and reunification
Infectious disease outbreaks
Internally displaced persons
Improvised explosive devices
International Labour Organization
Information Management / Manager
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies
International Organisation for Migration
Intimate partner violence
Infant and young child feeding
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
Mental health and psychosocial support
Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (on grave violations of children's rights in situations of armed conflict)
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Programme cycle management
Post-Disaster Needs Assessment
Psychological first aid
Protection information management
Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
Restoring family links
Sexual and gender-based violence
Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound
Standard operating procedures
Unaccompanied and separated children
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations International Children’s Fund
Water, sanitation and hygiene
Worst forms of child labour
World Health Organisation