During emergency situations children constitute another group of vulnerable people needing special protection because they are dependent upon adults (for food, safety, information, care) and can often be victims of violence, abuse or neglect.. The Council of Europe programme on children has mainly focused on promoting children’s rights in all Council of Europe policy areas (democracy, justice, education, health, etc…), promoting children’s access to justice and eradication of all forms of violence against children.

The Agreement has also been active in focusing on children, particularly with regard to education, as a priority in its programme of activities - a real “cornerstone” of the building of a risk culture aimed to make societies more resilient.

The following two fields have been the main instruments:

  • the development of the Internet-based BeSafeNet learning tool, mainly aimed at children, teachers and the general public. The website provides knowledge on natural and technological hazards and how to protect people from their effects;
  • active participation in the ISDR Thematic Platform on Knowledge and Education (in collaboration with ISDR, UNESCO and other partners), promoting analysis such as “Let our children teach us!” (a review of the role of Education and Knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction).

The subject of children and DRR has also been further explored by other Organisations, including UNICEF (which published a very complete report in 2009 entitled “Children and Disaster Risk Reduction: Taking stock and moving forward”, gathering experiences and hinted to a possible more active role of children in DRR), SAVE THE CHILDREN and other actors.


EUR-OPA supports in particular projects on education and disaster risk reduction aimed at promoting a culture of prevention, for example through emergency response drills in school establishments together with annual national campaigns. It also provides preventive information and education on how to stem the effects of natural disasters as well as developing a methodology on basic knowledge for school teachers on safety activities in emergencies etc

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