Innocent ones on the front line
At present, 415m children around the world live in a conflict zone. In countries where war is being waged on a large scale, 149m are fighting for their lives. More than 1,000 children are killed every year in these regions. Teenage boys, more often than girls, are seen by soldiers as a potential threat.
- Africa – 170 m children involved in conflict.
- Syria – 74% of girls were killed in bombings; teenage boys were more often killed with small arms (2013); more than 260,000 children lost their limbs in bomb attacks (2017).
- Nigeria, Mexico, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the countries with the highest number of children involved in conflict.
Because of the conflicts, civilians are forced to change their place of residence. People often have to live in overcrowded tents and makeshift camps. Not to mention the lack of access to clean water, nutritious food and medical supplies. At the end of 2019, approximately 46m civilians, 19m of whom are children, were internally displaced because of war.
- East and South Africa – 4m internally displaced children.
- West and Central Africa – 5.4m internally displaced children.
- Syria – 6.5m civilians, including 2.4m children, internally displaced.
- Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa – countries where the largest number of children have been displaced as a result of conflicts.
Children suffer due to armed conflict not only physically and mentally, but also educationally. Some of them may have irretrievably lost their chance to gain a solid education. The situation is not improved by the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely limited classroom education in many countries. Refugees (above all children) who have left their home country are additionally hindered by the epidemic situation.
- Jordan – 23% of Syrian refugees have no access to the internet, and 46% of parents say that their children are unable to access Darsak, the free e-learning platform.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo (north) – approximately 8,200 (out of 18,000) children from the Central African Republic have access to primary school education in camps. In turn, thousands of them have been forced to drop out of secondary education due to the lack of suitable facilities.