Stigma Reduction Approach

War Child works to support children living with the effects of violence and armed conflict - but in the real world not every child can readily take part in our activities. One major barrier that limits access to our services is stigmatisation - which is why we are developing an approach to tackle stigmatisation and mitigate its effects.
Stigma reduction War Child

We try to tackle stigmatisation to ensure all children have equal changes and access to our programmes

Photo: War Child

Stigmatized because of who you are

Imagine you are a child who has lived through an armed conflict. You may have had to flee your home in search of safety. You may have lost members of your family. And - despite everything - you may still find yourself shunned by your community. Because of who you are. Exclusion from vital services and social activities soon follows.

This stigmatisation - a social process of exclusion and discrimination triggered by local norms - is made manifest in both attitudes and actions. It reduces an individual’s life chances. And it can have a significant negative impact on an individual’s physical and psychosocial wellbeing.

Stigmatisation affects many groups - including children formerly associated with armed groups, children of certain ethnicities and those born out of wedlock.

wat is een kindsoldaat War Child.cp

Stigmatisation reduces an individual’s life chances and can have a significant negative affect on one's wellbeing.

Photo: War Child

Kindsoldaat chilsdsoldier stigma War Child Colombia

Stigmatisation affects many groups, like children formerly associated with armed groups

Photo: War Child

How the intervention works

The Stigma Reduction Approach aims for applicability to any stigma in any conflict-affected context. It encompasses three distinct phases which together serve to increase the understanding of stigmatisation inside communities - and identify the potential resources needed to bring about change.

‘Change advocates’ from the local community are a crucial element of the approach - representing an approach that is truly rooted in the contexts we work in.

Research has already been undertaken in DR Congo and Lebanon, and through literature - lessons learned from this research will serve to further inform the approach. These efforts have been designed to enable children subject to stigma to become a part of their communities - and enjoy improved futures.

More on the Stigma Reduction Approach

The Stigma Reduction Approach is informed by evidence and research - and is an integral part of our holistic Care System. For more information on the progress and development of this intervention download our dedicated factsheet now.