"We know that secondary disasters and other rights violations can occur if shelter conditions are not designed with children's needs in mind." There is also a checklist for public agencies/officials and CSOs that want to monitor the needs of emergency shelters in the earthquake zone.
It was also emphasized that the conditions mentioned in the information note express the obligations of the state in such crises.
Some highlights from the information note;
- Places proposed for shelter should be free from security threats (e.g., floods, natural disasters, attacks).
- Locations near shelters that may pose a hazard to children (open wells, pits, sharp-edged iron, cut wire mesh, transformers, touchable cable nets, pits on the ground, etc.) should be checked and appropriate precautions taken.
- Safe play areas should not be located near hazardous areas such as landfills, roads, and open wells during the acute phase.
- Children should be kept away from heat sources (such as heaters, stoves, matches, lighters) and should not be left unattended near heat sources. Quick evacuation points should be planned and communicated to children.
- The distribution site must be safe and not pose a physical danger to the children.
- Access to water and food, which are basic necessities of life, should be provided in a manner consistent with human dignity. Long lines and the threat of stampede are experiences that can be traumatic for children.
- Informational materials should be provided in the shelters in the native language. A layout should be created that includes written and visual signs that children can understand, such as assembly and food serving areas, complaint and information desks, toilets, and children's tents.
- The physical and mental health of staff working with children should be taken care of, and staff should be supported in every way possible.
- Privacy should be ensured in areas such as toilets, bathrooms, sleeping and dressing areas for the benefit of children, especially as a precaution against abuse.
- Children's areas should be designed with the needs of different age groups in mind. There should be more than one tent in the children's areas, if possible, taking into account the number of children and the age groups of the children. Children's opinions should be sought in all areas, especially children's play areas and educational areas to be established within shelters.
- Accessibility features such as ramp systems, railings, wayfinding signs, and lighting should be provided in food, washroom, shower, and toilet areas, taking into account the various disabilities (visual, hearing, orthopedic, speech, and psychosocial). Staff and volunteers working in the field should be knowledgeable about communicating with people with disabilities.
The information sheet can be found in the appendix below.