More thought for animals than children in emergency planning: report

Are animals more important than children? (Source: Getty)

By SBS

As bushfires wreak havoc in New South Wales, a new report examines how Australia’s local, state and territory governments care for children in their emergency management plans.

A report has found Australian emergency planning addresses the needs of animals far more than the needs of children.

While 97 per cent of local government emergency management plans consider animals, children’s needs are often overlooked.

The Save the Children report, Don’t Leave Me Alone: Protecting Children in Australian Disasters and Emergencies, found 15 per cent of emergency guidelines do not mention children and those that do only make generic references.

The report also suggests children and young people should have the opportunity to contribute to local area emergency management planning.

Initiatives such as child-friendly spaces – safe places where children can learn and play – are also recommended.

In revealing a lack of consistent emergency management across the country, the report recommends specific planning for the unique needs of children should be incorporated as a matter of urgency into all emergency plans at all levels of government.

Key findings include:

  • There is currently no standard practice in emergency management planning for the unique needs of children in Australia.
  • There is no local area planning identified that focuses on the most vulnerable children – those who are unaccompanied.
  • There is not a standard code of conduct for emergency management staff regarding working with children.

Original Story posted here

Related stories:  Emergency Plans forget Kids