UN expert signals funding shortfall on child protection
The UN expert against child exploitation warned Thursday of a massive funding shortfall to protect children in disasters, who risk being sold for prostitution, pornography or forced labour.
“There is a big lack of funding for child protection in emergencies and post-emergency situations,” said UN special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Najat Maalla M’jid.
“Levels of funding are significantly lower than for other humanitarian sectors,” she warned during a press conference.
Children are most vulnerable when separated from their families after humanitarian crises, she said, but because of the funding gap, aid groups are “severely limited in their capacity to provide vital child protection responses.”
Natural disasters and climate catastrophes already affecting 231 million people a year and with such disasters expected to increase, the numbers of victims were also projected to grow.
“A huge proportion of those at risk are children, many of whom are living in low-income countries,” she said, noting that aid group Save the Children estimates that over the next decade, up to 175 million children are likely to be affected by natural disasters each year.