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Protecting children’s rights in emergencies

When disaster, conflict and issues of public health arise, children are the most affected – and the most vulnerable. That’s why Plan is quick to respond in emergencies, aiming to immediately save lives, while also supporting the long-term needs of children and communities.

We reach children with basic emergency supplies such as shelter and water, but we also provide safe child-friendly spaces (CFS), education, and emotional support during crises.

See how we have already helped rebuild futures by defending children’s right to safe, happy and healthy childhoods – no matter what life may bring:


Following a disaster, many children lose their homes, belongings, or loved ones, and are forced to quickly adapt to new environments and circumstances. To help ease the trauma and difficulty of this transition, Plan offers forms of psychosocial support and trains community volunteers in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD).

Pamela, 10, was affected by Typhoon Haiyan – describing the event as one of the most terrifying experiences of her life.

“The thing that helped me forget about the typhoon was the child-friendly space,” she said. “We were really entertained and gained new friends. It can help us move on from the things that happened during the typhoon so that we won’t be traumatized anymore.”

  • A mother and son hold hands.

     / ECCD can support the healing of both child and parent in relation to natural disasters. “Coming back from school, she always tells me what she did and it fills my heart with joy,” said one mother recovering from an earthquake in Haiti.

  • Children play at tables.

     / Following a devastating earthquake in Haiti, Plan opened 5 semi-permanent ECCD centres, provided materials and trained volunteers, allowing over 800 children to finish their school year.

  • Girls smile and give peace signs.

     / When an earthquake recently hit a village in China, Plan trained community volunteers and quickly assembled a child friendly space with a classroom. Children were then able to continue learning and enjoying organized activities in a safe environment.

  • Children play on a swing set.

     / Recent flooding in Paraguay affected more than 5,400 children. To ensure these children could still access their right to learn and play, Plan set up 18 aptly named “Spaces of Joy”.

  • A clown and a boy laugh together.

     / Following a natural disaster in Haiti, Plan offered psychosocial support to affected children. Partners, such as Clowns without Borders, even offered some much needed laughs!

  • Lirio sits in her tent with a Plan water jug.

     / In addition to child-friendly spaces, Plan also provides shelters and resources. After Typhoon Sendong in the Philippines, Plan relocated 60 families – like Lirio and her family – to clean, dry, and secure temporary living tents.

At Plan, children are our priority. This means helping them access their rights to health, education, and safety, even during times of crisis – when they are most at risk and their rights are most threatened.