More than a decade after it was presented to the United Nations General Assembly, Graça Machel’s report on the agony of children trapped in armed conflict remains the definitive assessment of the issue. It has continuously roused moral outrage and has been a foundation for programming and advocacy.
The changing nature of contemporary armed conflict cries out for a different approach, one that no longer focuses on particular countries or themes but on the totality of issues affecting children caught in armed conflict, a point captured in Mrs. Machel’s study. That is the central message of this 10-year strategic review, and it grows out of Mrs. Machel’s powerful insight that “war violates every right of the child.” We cannot hope to move forcefully on behalf of children in conflict until we turn our attention to all impacts, on all children, in all situations affected by conflict. The organization of this report aims to heighten our understanding of the myriad ways in which armed conflict affects children – and how children regard their participation not only in war but in programmes aimed at preventing violence against them and in promoting their recovery and reintegration.
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
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
Save the Children, 2019
The report states that 142 million children are living in high-intensity conflict zones, with many more millions forced to abscond as refugees. More than 24 million children exposed to conflict today are likely to encounter mild to moderate mental health problems yet, as Save the Children rightly contends, the global response to mental health support continues to be regrettably inadequate
Child Soldiers Initiative, 2019
Child soldiers world index is the first-ever online global database mapping child recruitment practices, laws and policies of all 197 UN Member States. This global map visualises trends in the military exploitation of children, if you click on any country you see full details of the national legal framework, policies and practices, which armed groups recruit children, number of children reported etc. It is a valuable source of research and shows the seriousness of the situation of children in the world.
Colombia Forum, 2019
The most serious security threats are mainly experienced in areas that are most affected by the internal conflict. This is clear from the latest UN Human Rights Council report about the situation in Colombia. The report finds that lacking implementation of the peace agreement is one of the main reasons for the continued occurrence of death threats against social leaders in the country.
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.
Physicians for Human Rrights (PHR), Capstone, Colombia SIPA 2013
The final report evaluates reparations awarded by courts in the DRC to survivors of sexual violence, and the extent to which these reparations are being implemented. First, the report introduces the mobile court system and other judicial institutions that address sexual violence, specifically in Eastern DRC. Second, the report examines barriers to the implementation of reparations awarded by these courts. Third, the report offers recommendations to the international community to help ensure the payment of reparations to victims in the DRC and strengthen their access to justice.