Relevant authorities and organizations should provide coordinated action to reduce separation and endeavour to keep children as close to their parents, relatives and community as possible. When the possibility of separation can be anticipated, such as when an attack is possible or a movement of a population is anticipated or planned, community education should be undertaken. Families should be alerted to the risks of separation and encouraged to take precautions. Such precautions may include ensuring their child has undergone birth registration, teaching children their full names and addresses, encouraging children to wear name tags at all times, agreeing on a meeting place in case of separation, and making sure children are accompanied by a known adult whenever possible. This is particularly important when there are high risks of sexual violence, abduction and trafficking. In circumstances where the evacuation of a population is necessary, family groups should be moved together. Children should not be evacuated on their own.
Agencies should endeavour to avoid unnecessary separation by ensuring that households have adequate basic provisions. All services such as food aid, health services, and emergency care should be reviewed to ensure they do not encourage the separation or abandonment of children.
This section includes information on the causes of separation, how to assess a situation, and guidance on community messages and practices to reduce the incidence of children becoming separated.