War causes irretrievable harm to children!

“One day, my friends and I were forced by our commanders to kill a family…I decided to flee and I ran to the forest…but some soldiers found me and brought me back to the military camp. They imprisoned me and beat me every day… Today I am still afraid. I don’t know how to read, I don’t know where my family is. I have no future…My life is…lost…At night I can no longer sleep, I keep thinking of those horrible things I have seen and done as a soldier.” (“Kalami”, a 15-year-old boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is forced to join the army from the age of 9.)

In the armed conflict, children are not only unintended victims but deliberated targets of violence. The number of children who have been directly affected is countless, millions of them have been killed, disabled, orphaned, sexually exploited, abused, abducted and recruited as child soldiers. They were uprooted from their homes, separated from their families, and facing with heightened risk of disease and malnutrition.

In the past 10 years, armed conflict has:

  • caused death of over 2 million children
  • caused 6 million children lost their limbs
  • IDPs of 12 million
  • turned 1 million children into orphans / separated them from their parents
  • forced millions of children into military, and the horrible experiences of the killing fields keep traumatizing them even in the war aftermath period

In 2003, 82 countries were affected by landmines, these landmines are still threatening the lives of people though war was over, they might be buried in farms, paths…or on the road to school. The lifespan of a landmine could be over 50 years which threatens the life of not only this generation, but the next and the next.

UNICEF has put great efforts in helping children affected by war and protected them from the threat of landmines. Also, promoting education is one of our key concerns to help the war debilitated children recovering from the trauma.