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WorldRiskReport 2018: Focus Child Protection and Children's Rights

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Children Often Suffer the Most from Disasters

Berlin, November 19, 2018 – Children are particularly at risk of physical injury and death during disaster resulting from extreme natural events such as earthquakes and cyclones. That’s one of the key findings of the WorldRiskReport 2018 with a focus on “Child Protection and Children’s Rights.” The report was released today, one day before Universal Children’s Day, by Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) of Ruhr University Bochum.

“In the chaos following natural disasters, the rights of young people guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child are often neglected to the point of criminality,” says Peter Mucke, project head of the WorldRiskReport and Executive Director of Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft. “In extreme situations like these, children require better support, for instance, in the form of child protection centers, where they receive food, care, and education.” Angelika Böhling, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft, emphasizes: “Children should play an active role not only in overcoming crises, but also in preventing them.”

A key part of the report is dedicated to the WorldRiskIndex 2018, which indicates the risk for 172 countries where an extreme natural event may lead to a disaster. The calculation formula takes into account a country’s exposure towards natural hazards and its societal vulnerability.

“Of the 15 countries with the highest risk, nine are island nations,” says Katrin Radtke, Professor at IFHV and scientific director of the report. “Of the 15 countries with the highest societal vulnerability, 13 are on the African continent.” The IFHV calculated and methodically updated the WorldRiskIndex this year for the first time. Pierre Thielbörger, Executive Director of IFHV, points to the importance of comparing disaster risks on a global level: “The drought in Europe this summer showed once again that societies’ preparation for extreme natural events is key.”

The WorldRiskReport has been published annually by Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft since 2011. The WorldRiskIndex was developed in collaboration with United Nation University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

For more information about Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and the IFHV of Ruhr University Bochum, please visit:

Further information for editorial teams:

  • The full report is available for download at
    -If you need any infographics, maps or other images of the report, please feel free to get in touch with us.
    -The authors of the report are available for interviews by phone.