Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act

NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME TO PREPARE

More than 900 earthquakes and 20 typhoons are experienced in the Philippines every year. This makes our children among the most vulnerable in the world. We will never know how many children were lost to natural disaster in the past because many locations do not count child deaths. But we do know that millions of child survivors experienced trauma, difficulty in finding shelter, suffer from living in temporary accommodation, disruption of education, diminished social protection and other challenges.

CHILDREN’S EMERGENCY RELIEF AND PROTECTION ACT

This law is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Save the Children believes that the Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act (Republic Act No. 10821) will improve the care and protection of children affected by disasters, it will increase accountability to communities – and will build on best practices and lessons learned during recent emergency responses in the Philippines. This legislation is the result of work with the children of Yolanda together with children’s champions in the House and Senate.

This law establishes a new global standard for accountability to children. Now that the bill has already been signed into law, it will be the national policy of the Republic of the Philippines to protect the particular needs of children before, during and after crisis through:

  • A Comprehensive Emergency Program to protect children and support their immediate recovery.  
  • Heightened surveillance against child trafficking and other violence against children in the aftermath of disasters and calamities.
  • A system of restoring civil documents for children and their families to better access services and protect against exploitation.
  • Increased participation of children in disaster risk reduction (DRR) planning and post-disaster needs assessments.
  • Less disruption of education activities with the reduced use of schools as evacuation centers and the proper use of temporary learning spaces.
  • Improved care and steps for family tracing and reunification for unaccompanied and separated children. 
  • Better data collection and reporting related to the affected children—to better understand and respond to their specific needs.
  • Child-centered training of all responders for community/barangay leaders, school personnel and rescuers.