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.
Psychosocial support for children in war is essential for them to build a better future thanks to War Child in DR Congo

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.

War Child helpt kindsoldaat - kindsoldaten

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

Photo: War Child

Kindsoldaten in Colombia - War Child programma anti-stigma

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.