The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports children are the main victims of war, with many suffering mental stress that will last a lifetime.
Children worldwide are subjected to multiple forms of abuse on a daily basis, but the U.N. Children’s Fund says these forms of physical and psychological violence pale in comparison to what children are forced to endure in situations of conflict.
UNICEF Child Protection Programs chief Susan Bissell says far too many children around the world are caught in situations of conflict, where they are killed, maimed and subjected to untold horrors.
“We are saying at present, though I suspect this is an underestimation, that about one billion children live in countries and territories affected by conflict. It sort of feels like the world is falling apart for children," said Bissell.
Since the war in Syria broke out in March 2011, the United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed. At least 10,000 were children, with many more maimed.
It reports 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria, about three million of them children. In addition, half of the three million refugees in neighboring countries are children.
Bissell says children have fallen victim to continuous, widespread and systematic violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
She says all warring factions are committing crimes with impunity and subjecting children to appalling abuse.
“We know that numerous armed groups are recruiting and using children for logistical support, handling ammunition, manning checkpoints and as combatants. Recruitment of children or pressure to join groups is also occurring among refugee populations in neighboring countries - a disturbing trend. The U.N. has also documented the detention and torture of children for association with a party to conflict, targeted sexual violence against children, both boys and girls, and deliberate attacks against schools and hospitals," she said.
She says children are vulnerable to trafficking and to sexual and other forms of exploitation. She says forced and early marriages, as well as child labor are on the rise.
Susan Bissell says children who witness the killings and destruction around them, children who are separated from their families, and children who are abused sexually and otherwise, very often suffer from psychological and emotional distress.
She says UNICEF tries to ease their pain by providing counseling and tries to protect them by creating so-called child-friendly spaces where children can play and study without fear of having their rights violated.
Effects Of War
War is a phenomenon that is common today and in the past. The Effects of War can be very devastating in any given nation. Countries and states that experience or go through war may need a lot of time to recover from its effects. The devastating effects of war may include death, injuries, loss of families, disruption of economic activities and emotional trauma among others. The effects of war may be experienced by soldiers at war, their families, and the citizens of a nation. The economy of the particular country undergoing war may be adversely affected. Though some countries and their citizens may have the belief that war brings about peace, there is nothing good about war. This is because during wars, there is the disruption of peace for the people.
Effects of War on Children
Children can be more affected by occurrences of war than any other group of people. The war can be traumatizing for children. Witnessing of some incidents in the event of war can have devastating effects on children. One of the major effects of War on children is the fact that children develop fear as they become traumatized by events. Recovery may be difficult and almost impossible or may be very hard for these children. Some children may also learn negatively from war events. They end up learning and looking at violence as a way of solving issues and conflicts. The worst thing is that innocent children may become victims of war. Some may get injured in the process, worse though, some children may be killed in the wars. Education for children may also come to a stop during the period when a country is experiencing wars. Disruption of learning for children is a disadvantage.
Effects of War Economically
The effects of war in a country become a major blow to the economy. The economic activities in a country are interrupted by war. In times of war, people are likely to stay indoors and refuse to go to work. This is due to the fear of being killed or injured. Production in any country experiencing war may go down and result in economic instability. Recovery for the country may require a lot of efforts. Crops in farms may also be burnt down depending on the nature of the war. In case of this, the country may suffer food insecurity. Destruction of industries and factories during the war can be a major blow to the economy of a nation.