JAKARTA, 5 October 2018: UNICEF and a team of social workers from the Ministry of Social Affairs have started the process of identifying separated and unaccompanied children.
There are no official figures, but first reports indicate a high number of separated children. Twelve posts have been set up in the affected area to identify children who may have been separated from their families or are unaccompanied. These locations are also being used as safe spaces for children to play and recover.
Messages on identification and referral of unaccompanied and separated children have been circulated via digital channels and signposting at displacement sites is underway.
"Since the earthquake and tsunami struck Sulawesi, UNICEF has been mobilizing resources to support the Government's emergency response,” said Amanda Bissex, UNICEF Chief of Children Protection, Indonesia. “In the coming days, we will also set up child-friendly spaces, temporary classrooms and distribute recreational materials to help children cope in the aftermath of the disaster.”
UNICEF is helping the Ministry of Social Affairs to implement the Primero database, the only system available in the country that supports tracing and family reunification. UNICEF has been developing this in coordination with the Indonesian authorities prior to the earthquake.
When an emergency strikes, children require special protection to ensure their safety and well-being. UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Affairs are preparing social workers to care and protect children in case of violence, abuse or exploitation. To help children cope in the aftermath of the disaster, UNICEF and its partners will also provide psychosocial support to children who have been affected by the disaster.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap