Girls in the First Decade: A Scoping Study on MHPSS-GBV Interventions for Girls 0-11

Girls in the First Decade


There is a dearth of data on the nature, dynamics and magnitude of Gender Based Violence (GBV) against girls in the first decade (age 0-11) globally, and even less in humanitarian settings. What we do know about violence against girls globally suggests that girls in this age range are experiencing and are at risk of sexual violence- including child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, early and forced marriage and intimate partner violence. Furthermore, there is limited information about the extent to which younger girl survivors access GBV services in humanitarian contexts and the extent and ways in which GBV programs are inclusive of girls 0-11 or if their needs are addressed through programming provided by other sectors that reach children in this age range. In the past 10 years there has been significant progress in tailoring GBV prevention and treatment services to adolescent girls, and in addressing the mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) needs of GBV survivors. However, such interventions and programmes have not been developed with girls ages 0-11 in mind. UNICEF’s GBV in Emergencies and MHPSS teams carried out a scoping study to document existing gaps and best practices addressing the MHPSS needs of girl survivors of GBV in the first decade and of girls in this age range more generally. The findings highlight the need for further work to understand the unique experiences and service needs of this population, identify the most effective responses, and facilitate multi-disciplinary, inter-sectoral collaboration and coordination to design and implement effective and accessible services.

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