As the civil war in Syria further deteriorates, accounts of systematic human rights abuses continue to emerge,
including torture, starvation, and widespread sexual violence against civilians and combatants. More than five
million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries in search of safety, yet they continue to face challenges
of poverty, discrimination, as well as sexual violence and exploitation. Some attention has been given to
women and girls who have suffered sexual violence in Syria and in displacement; however, less is known
about male survivors, including ways to meet their needs.
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.
Turid Heiberg, Save the Children International, 2005
Global Submission by the International Save the Children Alliance UN Study on Violence against Children
The present study evaluates Save the Children’s experiences with work against child sexual abuse and exploitation around the world. We focus on the essence of our programme experiences, our insights and the ‘main jewels’ of our learning in the form of 10 essential learning points. We have investigated if and how our work has been in the best interest of children and whether it contributed to their development. How do we perceive the challenges and strategies that have been successful? The examination led to the formulation of the learning points, which may serve as a guide for establishing good practice and policies.
Thirteen country programmes within Save the Children – Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Syria, Nepal, Bangladesh, Romania and Spain – have been involved in the present examination, drawing on their own and partners’ experiences as well as the experiences of governments and civil society in general in combating child sexual abuse within a number of cultural, socio-economic, political and religious contexts. Good practice from other Save the Children members, academic and other sources has also been included. We have emphasised that the learning reflects what boys and girls of different ages themselves feel, think, reflect and experience around sexual abuse.Turid
Justice child sexual abuse education gender based violence mental health post-traumatic stress disorder protection sexual violence Bangladesh Brazil Canada Colombia Global Mozambique Nepal Nicaragua Romania Rwanda South Africa Spain Syria Uganda
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
Save the children International, 2020
The third report of Save the Children’s Stop the War on Children campaign reveals shocking trends in the threats to the safety and wellbeing of children living in areas impacted by conflict. While fewer children are living in conflict-affected areas, those who do face the greatest risk of falling victim to serious violence since systematic records began. This report delves into the differences between boys’ and girls’ experiences through a gendered analysis of the six grave violations of children in conflict.
Mental health conditions in conflict situations are much more widespread than we thought: But there’s a lot we can do to support people
Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO, 2019
“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
UNFPA Humanitarian Office, 2019
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.
Paul Seils, Open Global Rights, 2019
What would justice look like in the conflicts in Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia? What would we expect it to achieve? For more than two decades, the field of transitional justice has sought to answer such questions. Transitional justice is generally understood as a package of measures including criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations for victims and reform of abusive institutions.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative, 2016
For the first time since World War II, Europe is experiencing a massive movement of refugees and migrants, women, girls, men and boys of all ages, fleeing armed conflicts, mass killings, persecution and pervasive sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Many seek refuge in Europe from the ongoing armed conflicts that have torn apart their societies, and are entitled to protection under the (1951) Refugee Convention, its subsequent Protocol, and other international instruments.