Globally, 57 million children are out of primary school.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Younger readers of this journal may themselves have been exposed to war during their teen years.
Much has been written on the subject in the last two decades — how war affects children, how to rehabilitate war-affected children tertiary preventionand how to make the experience of being in a war zone less damaging for children secondary prevention.
However, any degree of immersion in the suffering of children in war impels one to consider ways of removing the vector producing the suffering — war itself primary prevention.
While in a previous essay in this series 1I considered ways to prevent specific wars, here I will consider a broader issue of replacing our present war system with a peace system. The impact of war on children War affects children in all the ways it affects adults, but also in different ways.
First, children are dependent on the care, empathy, and attention of adults who love them. Their attachments are frequently disrupted in times of war, due to the loss of parents, extreme preoccupation of parents in protecting and finding subsistence for the family, and emotional unavailability of depressed or distracted parents.
The child may be in substitute care with someone who cares for him or her only slightly — relatives or an orphanage. Second, impacts in childhood may adversely affect the life trajectory of children far more than adults. Consider children who lose the opportunity for education during war, children who are forced to move into refugee or displaced person camps, where they wait for years in miserable circumstances for normal life to resume, if it ever does.
Consider a child disabled in war; they may, in addition to loss of a limb, sight, or cognitive capacity, lose the opportunity of schooling and of a social life.
A girl who is raped may be marginalized by her society and lose the opportunity for marriage. Long after the war has ended, these lives will never attain the potential they had before the impact of war.
Listing the impacts of war on children is a sadly straightforward task: Hundreds of thousands of children die of direct violence in war each year 2. They die as civilians caught in the violence of war, as combatants directly targeted, or in the course of ethnic cleansing.
Children suffer a range of war injuries. Certain weapons affect them particularly. A landmine explosion is more likely to kill or seriously injure a child than an adult 3. Thousands of children suffer landmine injuries each year 4.
Millions of children are disabled by war, many of whom have grossly inadequate access to rehabilitation services. A child may have to wait up to 10 years before having a prosthetic limb fitted. Children who survive landmine blasts rarely receive prostheses that are able to keep up with the continued growth of their limbs.
Conditions for maintenance of child health deteriorate in war — nutrition, water safety, sanitation, housing, access to health services. There may be loss of immunity to disease vectors with population movement.
Refugee children are particularly vulnerable to the deadly combination of malnutrition and infectious illness. There is also interruption of population immunization programs by war which may be responsible for increases in child mortality. Rape and prostitution for subsistence. Children are exposed to situations of terror and horror during war — experiences that may leave enduring impacts in posttraumatic stress disorder.The recognition that children should be protected from the effects of war is not new.
Indeed there are instruments of protection which currently exist. At the base there are the standards. Mrs. Machel is an internationally known advocate for children. Her ground-breaking report, Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in Education for All Global Monitoring Report The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education.
How Does Violent Conflict Impact on Individual Educational Outcomes? The Evidence So Far. Patricia Justino.
This paper was commissioned by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report as background information to assist in drafting the report.
“The wellbeing of refugee children in an early childhood education context: Connections and dilemmas.” Journal of Educational Enquiry, Vol.
13, no. 1, pp In this article Shallow & Whitington review how providing an environment supporting the wellbeing of refugee children is vital to their resettlement.
How Does Violent Conflict Impact on Individual Educational Outcomes? The Evidence So Far. The microeconomic impact of war on civilian populations can be substantial and persistent. Not and may last across generations if the impact on children’s education and health is significant (Case and Paxson , Maccini and Young ).
Below we. War denying millions of children an education The conflict has disrupted the education of more than , children. Despite the impact of conflict on young people's schooling, the report.