Children and Disasters: Understanding Vulnerability, Developing Capacities, and Promoting Resilience - An Introduction
This comprehensive overview of the literature on children and disasters argues that scholars and practitioners should more carefully consider the experiences of children themselves. As the frequency and intensity of disaster events increase around the globe, children are among those most at risk for the negative effects of disaster. Children are psychologically vulnerable and may develop post-traumatic stress disorder or related symptoms; are physically vulnerable to death, injury, illness, and abuse; and often experience disruptions or delays in their educational progress as a result of disasters. Children have special needs and may require different forms of physical, social, mental, and emotional support than adults. However, children also have the capacity to contribute to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities. In order to promote children’s resilience to disasters, we must improve their access to resources, empower them by encouraging their participation, offer support, and ensure equitable treatment.