Still at risk: internally displaced children’s rights in north-west Pakistan

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Starting in 2008 and continuing in mid-2010, fighting between Pakistan’s armed forces and militant groups has led to the internal displacement of more than 3.3 million people. The speed and scale of the Pakistani displacement led to an outpouring of assistance and support. Host communities in areas of displacement took in millions of displaced people and provided some form of shelter. The Pakistani government, assisted by international organisations, NGOs, and community members, mounted a vast assistance operation, establishing hubs to distribute food and non-food items, providing shelter and sanitation, strengthening medical facilities, and protecting vulnerable IDPs. The report’s key findings include: displaced children are particularly at risk of abuse, exploitation, and neglect; internally displaced children were left without comprehensive protection monitoring and effective responses to their situations in many areas of displacement; internally displaced children in host communities lived a more normal life than those in camps, but were less visible to aid providers, leaving them particularly vulnerable to protection issues; and children affected by displacement – both displaced children and children in host communities – lost many months of education, both damaging their development and diminishing their capacity to respond to protection crises they face.

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