Save the Children, in collaboration with researchers from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2018
This report presents the very first quantitative analysis of the risk of sexual violence against children in conflict for the period 1990–2019. The report flags remaining data gaps, shortcomings in child-centred and gender-responsive service delivery, and impunity for these crimes. Our findings also show the urgency of the broader call for gender equality and child rights, including increased focus on girls’ empowerment initiatives, recognising that girls are disproportionately affected. Sexual violence in conflict is a weapon, whether it is used tactically or opportunistically. While children face increasing risk of sexual violence in conflict, the international community struggles to adequately address this human rights violation. The scale and gravity of sexual violence against children in armed conflict call for immediate and concerted action by the UN, states, donors, the humanitarian community, researchers and civil society to meet their obligations to ensure children are safe from harm.
Kirollos, Mariam; Anning, Caroline; Fylkes Knag, Gunvor; Denselow, James, Save the Children International, 2018
This report identifies concerning trends for the safety and wellbeing of children living in areas impacted by conflict, through analysis of the United Nations Annual Reports of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) and new research by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). The research utilizes figures that are published, independently verified and credible, but one of the key findings of the data mapping process is that there is a significant and worrying gap in child-specific data in conflicts.
Although all warring parties are obliged to protect children, in conflicts around the world heinous attacks are committed against children on a daily basis, for which the perpetrators are not being held to account. What is more, many of these violations are increasing, driven bybrutal conflicts like the war in Syria. There is an urgent need for action to end what is too often a war on children.
Save the Children, in collaboration with researchers from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2019
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
armed conflict child soldiers children grave violations against children human rights impunity internally displaced persons mental health sexual violence Afghanistan Central African Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Global Iraq Mali Nigeria Somalia South Sudan Syria Yemen
World Health Organization (WHO), 2013
This WHO report shares detailed accounts from 10 diverse emergency-affected areas, each of which built better-quality and more sustainable mental health systems despite challenging circumstances. Cases originate from countries small to large; low to middle-income; across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East; and affected by large-scale natural disasters, prolonged conflict, and large-scale influxes of refugees. While their contexts varied considerably, all were able to convert short-term interest in population mental health into sustainable, long-term improvements.
This WHO report goes beyond aspirational recommendations by providing detailed descriptions of how mental health reform was accomplished in these situations. Importantly, case contributors report not only their major achievements, but also their most difficult challenges and how they were overcome. Key overlapping practices emerging from these experiences are also summarized.
This report provides the proof of concept that it is possible to build back better, no matter how weak the existing mental health system or how challenging the emergency situation. I call upon all readers to take steps to ensure that those faced with future emergencies do not miss the important opportunity for mental health reform and development.
– Dr Margaret Chan, former Director-General WHO
Executive summary available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish here.
United Nations, 2019
“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
action plans armed conflict gender based violence human rights impunity reparations sexual violence Afghanistan Bosnia and Herzegovina Burundi Central African Republic Colombia Côte d'Ivoire Democratic Republic of the Congo Iraq Libya Mali Myanmar Nepal Nigeria Somalia South Sudan Sri Lanka Sudan (Darfur) Syrian Arab Republic Yemen
Srinivasa Murthy and Lakshminarayana
In humanitarian emergencies and conflict situations psychological damage has traditionally not been addressed, its extent and impact have not been well studied. It is only through a greater focus of mental health problems as a result of war and conflict, can coherent and effective strategies for dealing with such problems be developed.
Ibrahim A. Kira, Asha Ahmed, Vanessa Mahmoud & Fatima Wassim
This article looks at the Center for Torture and Trauma Survivors’ therapy group model for torture survivors and describes two of its variants: The Bashal group for African and Somali women and the Bhutanese multi-family therapy group. Group therapies in this model extend to community healing. Groups develop their cohesion to graduate to a social community club or initiate a community organization.
Frank Neuner and Thomas Elbert
What gains have been made in the fight against traumatic disorders and other mental health problems in conflict areas? What do we know about the impact on individual, family and community functioning? Given what we know about the effects of trauma, it is likely that we will also see a rise in substance abuse and suicidality, violence, and a worsening of physical health.
On 30 December 2004, four days after the tsunami struck, the Voices of Hope voices of Youth website became a space where young people could build a support group for each other and voice opinions about the direction relief efforts should take. The discussion forum that resulted lasted for three months and became known as Tsunami terror, a name that was suggested by the young people themselves.
One year after the tsunami, UNICEF recounts its role in providing immediate relief and ongoing care to the thousands of families and children affected. Helping bring children back to school, providing immunization services, and assisting with registration, placement and reunification of the separated are but a few of the activities UNICEF undertook in the past 12 months. The report provides country-by-country breakdowns that include expenditure, plans and challenges, while highlighting children’s stories and key partners in relief and recovery.