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Plan International Implements Global Standards for Children Living in Refugee Accomodation

HAMBURG – Refugee children are at risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, and abuse—including those living in refugee accommodation in Germany, says Plan International Germany.

“Children who have experienced the breakdown of everything familiar to them and of all structures need special protection,” says Maike Röttger, National Director of Plan International Germany.

In order to establish the international standards of humanitarian assistance as an integral component across refugee accommodation in Germany, Plan International Germany has started a model project in cooperation with St. John Ambulance in Hamburg.

The program, ‘Strengthening a Child-Friendly Environment and Ensuring Child Protection in Refugee Accommodations in Hamburg’, is supported by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth with a budget of $559,745.

“We know children and women in refugee centers are, unfortunately, not safe against abuse and sexual assaults,” says Dr. Ralf Kleindiek, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. “This is why we need to make sure they are protected in the facilities. We need concrete and feasible protection concepts as well as a legal regulation to ensure protection of children and women in the refugee centers. Here in Hamburg, we therefore support Plan International’s program ‘Strengthening a Child-Friendly Environment and Ensuring Child Protection in Refugee Accommodations in Hamburg’.”

“Our standards for children in emergencies are being implemented throughout the world. We feel committed to them and are pleased to contribute our global expertise in the field of humanitarian assistance also to the German context and to the cooperation of the Ministry for Family Affairs with UNICEF and other partners,” says Maike Röttger.

“We very much appreciate the initiative of the Ministry for Family Affairs to establish legal regulations for protection concepts. Our aim is to reduce the actual risks for children in the refugee centers and to develop a protection concept for refugee accommodations, which can be applied in facilities throughout Germany. Since January, we have been implementing our concept in an initial reception center for refugees in Hamburg-Stellingen in cooperation with St. John Ambulance. In May, we will start activities in another reception center in Hamburg-Bergedorf.”

Through the project, Plan International and St. John Ambulance creates safe environments for children who are living in the Reception Centers operated by St. John Ambulance in Hamburg.

“Plan International’s concept works,” says Harald Halpick, Regional Chairperson of St. John’s Ambulance in Hamburg. “As operators of refugee centers, we think it is very important that child protection is ensured.”

About Plan International Germany

Plan International Germany has been awarded several prizes for its transparency in fundraising. In 2012, the child-focused organization twice reached first position: in the transparency award of PwC and in an analysis of the economy magazine, Capital. Plan International, one of the world's oldest independent child-focused organizations, is working in 51 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and finances sustainable self-help projects by means of sponsorship, donations, public funds, and corporate partnerships. Through the Because I am a Girl Campaign, Plan is strengthening the rights of girls. As a result, the UNO recognized the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11th. Plan International Germany has been conferred the donation seal of the German Central Institute for Social Affairs (DZI). Due to its commitment, Plan was awarded the Walter-Scheel-Preis of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2011.

About Plan International USA

Plan International USA, part of the Plan International Federation, is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.

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