For the past two decades, there has been substantial debate about whether there are qualitatively different symptom profiles that can develop in children from different types of traumatic events and life circumstances. The term “complex trauma” is often used to describe both the presumed causes and the consequences of exposure to traumatic stressors when the child has experienced other significant adversities and is manifesting more severe clinical presentations. The interest in an additional descriptive term or diagnosis has been fueled by trauma-focused treatment trials pointing to the fact that the experiences of many children involve more than the trauma and more than trauma-specific symptoms (e.g., children in foster care, residential treatment, juvenile justice). Efforts to classify these clinical presentations have included a proposed Developmental Trauma Disorder (Ford, et al, 2013).
United Nations, 2020
Although the COVID-19 crisis is, in the first instance, a physical health crisis, it has the seeds of a major mental health crisis as well, if action is not taken. Good mental health is critical to the functioning of society at the best of times. It must be front and centre of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.
Psychological distress in populations is widespread. Many people are distressed due to the immediate health impacts of the virus and the consequences of physical isolation. Many are afraid of infection, dying, and losing family members. Individuals have been physically distanced from loved ones and peers. Millions of people are facing economic turmoil having lost or being at risk of losing their income and livelihoods. Frequent misinformation and rumours about the virus and deep uncertainty about the future are common sources of distress. A long-term upsurge in the number and severity of mental health problems is likely.
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, April 2020
COVID-19’s rapid spread poses particular challenges for vulnerable populations, especially migrants and displaced (M&D) children. Over 180 countries – and rising – have identified cases of COVID-19, and migration is often cited as the reason for its spread. It is apparent that certain characteristics of displaced populations such as higher risk of contagion, high mobility, and being difficult to reach, present suitable conditions for a rapid outbreak of COVID-19 – at huge risk to M&D children and to the surrounding communities. It is clear that the cost of not prioritising M&D populations is likely to be catastrophic.
Save the Children’s Programme Framework explicitly recognises the acute vulnerability of migrant and displaced communities and suggests a number of possible programmatic interventions. This paper, developed by the TWG on Protecting the Rights of M&D Children, the MDI and Geneva Advocacy office, aims to provide further complementary analysis, suggested text for proposal and project design, and technical guidance to SC colleagues.
UNICEF, WHO, IFRC, 2020
The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operations through the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 in schools and other educational facilities. The guidance, while specific to countries that have already confirmed the transmission of COVID-19, is still relevant in all other contexts. Education can encourage students to become advocates for disease prevention and control at home, in school, and in their community by talking to others about how to prevent the spread of viruses. Maintaining safe school operations or reopening schools after a closure requires many considerations but, if done well, can promote public health.
The document includes facts on COVID-19, information to school administrators, teachers and staff, parents/caregivers and community members as well as on age-specific health education with the aim to promote safe and healthy schools.
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.
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
Save the Children, 2019
Boys and girls are bearing a disproportionate burden of modern conflict. Latest figures reveal that 142 million children are living in high intensity conflict zones1 and millions more have been forced to flee as refugees, often to unstable settings in other countries. Since 2010, the number of children living in conflict zones has increased by 37%, yet the number of verified grave violations against them – including killing and maiming, recruitment into armed forces and sexual violence – has increased by 174%.
“When ISIS took over our town, the fighting got worse. I always felt tired and stressed. I feel so much older than I am because of the war. I feel like an old woman even though I am 16.” Safaa, 16, Syria