Natural Disasters impact on children, with a particular emphasis on girls and children with disabilities A case study from Haiti assessing children’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters and its underlying causes
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis explores whether children, and especially girls and children with disabilities, are more vulnerable in natural disasters. In addition, the thesis investigates what the underlying factors of children’s vulnerabilities are caused by and how we can decrease their vulnerabilities, using Haiti as a case study. Disasters poses substantial threat to both sustainable development and poverty reduction initiatives and can be argued to be the very “antithesis of human development”. The impacts of natural disasters are not evenly distributed among countries, neither are the impacts evenly distributed among citizens. Impacts are determined by factors such as environmental degradation, poverty levels and location. Social inequalities such as age, gender, class and ethnicity also defines vulnerabilities to disasters in a given society and children, especially in developing countries, are extremely vulnerable to the impact of natural disasters. However, little literature addresses gender inequalities amongst children and children with disabilities in disasters. This shows that there is a great need for more research into children’s vulnerabilities and what influences their vulnerabilities. The analysis in this study indicate that children have specific vulnerabilities simply because they are children and that girls are more vulnerable because of the dangerous situation they are placed in, exposing them to abuse and exploitation. Children with disabilities are the most vulnerable group simply because they are not being prioritised by neither the government nor the NGOs, not only in disaster management, but also in development activities overall. Further, a key argument of this study emphasise that a country’s historical and present context together with the presence of numerous NGOs contributes to and shapes children’s vulnerabilities. There is therefore a great need for the Government of Haiti and the NGOs to come together to develop a comprehensive sustainable development strategy for Haiti, incorporating general development activities, disaster management and climate change adaptation.
Master thesis development management- University of Agder, 2015