Technical Materials

Storybook | Seeing Forced Displacement and Protection Through a Child’s Eyes

The Alliance

Seeing Forced Displacement and Protection Through a Child’s Eyes

  • When her hometown erupted in violence, young Mariam was forced to flee with part of her family. Three years later, she tells her story in I am Mariam, a delightful, illustrated book. Accompanying her in her journey, we discover how she sees the world and learn together what children’s protection means in practice. 

Experiencing war at home, escaping with family members in a bus riddled with bullets, finding refuge in a neighbouring country, being exposed to the harsh reality of child labour — these are some of the chapters in Mariam’s tale. 

While Mariam is a fictional character, her story is not less truthful. Over 34 million children worldwide are forcibly displaced and face risks very similar to those experienced by Mariam. 

Working with the Syrian Child Protection Network and Plan International, the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is pleased to release this Arabic-language story book reflecting the lives of many forcibly displaced children. Its balance of hard-hitting realities and small acts of kindness comes from consultations with conflict-affected children.

The story and its accompanying colouring book are primarily meant for children 5-12 years old, but adults will enjoy it too. As Mariam learns how children should be treated and what are their rights, readers both young and old learn alongside her. 

This beautifully illustrated book makes the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPMS) and the 10 principles that underlie them accessible in a child-friendly manner. And it does so while taking into account inclusion, gender equality and the Middle Eastern cultural context. 

In addition to the book and the accompanying colouring book, eight posters summarizing its key messages are available. An audiobook will be published soon. For the time being, the set of materials is available in Arabic. Agencies interested in doing a print run, adapting or funding other language versions of I am Mariam are welcome to contact the CPMS Working Group.

Images' captions: 

  1. “Children are smart, and grown-ups should ask them about their opinions on things that concern them.” A poster from the story book I am Mariam.
  2. “We must show others how to get help.”
  3. “Children are strong and smart. They can ask for help from others. They can also help their friends.”
Publication type
Child Friendly Materials
Unaccompanied and Separated Children
Child participation
Child protection
Child Protection Minimum Standards
CPMS Further Initiatives & Resources
Unaccompanied and Separated Children
Language of the materials