Giving Compass' Take:
- Here is an overview of the effects of international conflict on children's mental, emotional, and physical health.
- What is the best way for donors to support children in peace and conflict resolutions?
- Read how to support children in Ukraine.
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What Is the Impact of Conflict on Children?
Today, the nature of conflict – and its impact on children – is evolving. The world is witnessing deliberate campaigns of violence against civilians, including the targeting of schools, the abduction and enslavement of girls, and deliberate starvation.
In today’s armed conflicts, there is often no longer a clearly demarcated battlefield: children’s homes and schools are the battlefield.
The Disproportionate Impact of Conflict on Children
The nature of conflict has changed, putting children in the frontline in new and terrible ways. Wars are lasting longer. They are more likely to be fought in urban areas amongst civilian populations leading to deaths and life-changing injuries, and laying waste to the infrastructure needed to guarantee access to food and water. Attacks on schools and hospitals are up.
Children are disproportionately suffering the consequences of these brutal trends.
- We are seeing more children facing unimaginable mental and physical trauma.
- More children are going hungry.
- More children are falling victim to preventable diseases.
- More children are out of school.
- More children are at risk of sexual violence and recruitment by armed groups.
- More children are trapped on the frontline without access to humanitarian aid.
The harm that is done to children in armed conflict is not only often more severe than that done to adults, it has longer lasting implications – for children themselves and for their societies.
The Distinctive Ways Children are Harmed by Armed Conflict
Children suffer in conflict in different ways than adults, partly because they are physically weaker and also because they have so much at stake – their physical, mental and psychosocial development are heavily dependent on the conditions they experience as children.
Conflict affects children differently depending on a number of personal characteristics, significantly gender and age, but also disability status, ethnicity, religion and whether they live in rural or urban locations.
Read the full article about children harmed in conflict at Save the Children.