Stop the war on children – A crisis of recruitment

This latest report in our Stop the War on Children series looks in detail at one of the grave violations: children at risk of recruitment and use by armed forces or armed groups. There has been a rise in the number of verified incidents of children recruited and used by armed forces and groups, and the number of groups recruiting children has also increased. In three countries – Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen – the vast majority of children in conflict zones are deemed at risk of recruitment. This report and its key findings illustrate the war on children.

Stop the War on Children

The protection of children in conflict – and with it the realisation of the promises made in the declarations, conventions and statutes of the 20th century – is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. The nature of conflict – and its impact on children – is evolving.
In today’s armed conflicts, there is often no longer a clearly demarcated battlefield: children’s homes and schools are the battlefield.
Increasingly, the brunt of armed violence and warfare is being borne by children. Children suffer in conflict in different ways to 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. 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

Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies: Guide to Developing a Field-Level Road Map

The toolkit is designed for field-based colleagues interested in developing a Call to Action Road Map for their setting. Initially, the primary users will likely be Call to Action Advisors engaged to support the project and field-based colleagues from the global Call to Action partnership. As the project takes hold, the toolkit will be a useful guide for national and local Call to Action stakeholders. Call to Action global focal points can also use it as a resource to increase their support for field-based efforts and strengthen action and accountability under the Call to Action.

The toolkit is a step-by-step guide that walks the reader through the process of developing a fieldlevel Road Map. It includes resources for the drafting process and for implementation. We hope colleagues in other settings will also take up this effort. Partners should consider this toolkit a living document that can be updated to capture good practices as we continue to learn from one another.

It is available in English, Arabic, French and Spanish.

Mental health conditions in conflict situations are much more widespread than we thought: But there’s a lot we can do to support people

“Today, there is no shortage of countries in conflict. UN estimates suggest that in 2019, nearly 132 million people in 42 countries around the world will need humanitarian assistance resulting from conflict or disaster. Nearly 69 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, the highest number since World War II.

Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help them. Indeed, there’s a lot we are doing.

In 2019 WHO is addressing mental health in countries and territories with populations affected by large-scale emergencies across the world, in Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, among others.

In many countries in the world, ignorance about mental health and mental illness remains widespread. The uptake of mental health care during conflict and other emergencies, in countries where such support has been limited, can lead to the identification of people who are tied up, locked in cages, hidden from society. In many cases, it is this very support that helps dispel myths about mental illness and leads to treatment and care and a path towards a more dignified life.

We have also learned that, when the political will exists, emergencies can be catalysts for building quality mental health services”, Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO

Conflict related sexual violence: Report of the United Nations Secretary-General

“Conflict-related sexual violence is now widely recognized as a war crime that is preventable and punishable. The United Nations Security Council has played an important role in the past decade
by passing successive resolutions that emphasize accountability for perpetrators and services for survivors.”
– United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

Flyer for use in the First Nigerian Pidgin English online Seminar on Sexual Violence

What makes this training different from others? This is the first Nigerian pidgin English seminar on Sexual Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The seminar focuses on improving skills in providing psychological support for GBV, especially sexual trauma survivors.
Who can attend?
• Helpers supporting survivors of GBV and sexual trauma in times of disasters, conflicts and emergency situations, and in places where access to health professionals, psychologist or psychiatrist expertise is limited.
• Helpers training other helpers/groups of helpers who need self-study materials
Who produced the seminar materials?
• A team of mental health experts from with many years of clinical, field and research experiences developed effective tools to empower helpers of GBV survivors
This flyer gives you information about the content of the GBV manual that the training is based on.


Healing when crisis strikes

Millions in Syria and Yemen fleeing relentless conflict, the Rohingya seeking refuge in Bangladesh, girls abducted in Nigeria, Venezuelans driven by economic collapse into Brazil — today’s crises are becoming more widespread, complex and protracted and they continue to take a disproportionate toll on women and girls. War, human rights violations, underdevelopment, climate change and natural disasters are driving people to leave their homes in unprecedented numbers.Humanitarian crises produce psychological suffering and trauma that threaten the health and well-being of affected people, and erode global efforts for peace building and recovery. In 2019, nearly 143 million people needed humanitarian aid and protection. UNFPA estimates that more than 35 million are women and girls of reproductive age.

Hope Betrayed? A Report on Impunity and State-Sponsored Violence in Nigeria

The last three years of elected civilian government in Nigeria have witnessed an alarming spate of violence and egregious human rights violations. In over fifty separate and documented incidents, over ten thousand Nigerians have reportedly been victims of extrajudicial executions at an average of over 200 executions perincident.

Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA)

PRAWA was established to promote safety and security in the African community by a creating humane criminal justice system. This is achieved through service delivery to the community in general; to particular vulnerable groups, such as prisoners, ex-prisoners, torture survivors, youths-at-risk, women, and the affected families; as well as to other personnel and stakeholders working within the formal and informal security, justice and penal systems.