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Stop the War on Children Full Report 2019

Stop the War on Children Full Report 2019

One hundred years on, those words of Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb resonate as strongly as ever. Right now, across the world, millions of children are caught up in conflicts they played no part in creating. Often their rights are violated with total impunity. New evidence presented by Save the Children is damning: • 420 million children – nearly one-fifth of children worldwide – are living in a conflict zone; a rise of nearly 30 million children from 2016. • The number of children living in conflict zones has doubled since the end of the cold war. • 142 million children are living in high-intensity conflict-zones; that is, in conflict zones with more than 1,000 battle-related deaths in a year. • New analysis from Save the Children shows that the numbers of ‘grave violations’ of children’s rights in conflict reported and verified by the United Nations have almost tripled since 2010. • Hundreds of thousands of children are dying every year as a result of indirect effects of conflict – including malnutrition, disease and the breakdown of healthcare, water and sanitation. 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. Intra-state conflict is increasing, as are the numbers of armed actors involved. The world is witnessing deliberate campaigns of violence against civilians, including the targeting of schools, the abduction and enslavement of girls, and deliberate starvation. Armed conflicts are more protracted; for instance, the most prominent conflict in recent times – the war in Syria – has lasted longer than the second world war. The longer a conflict lasts the greater the indirect harm caused as essential services cease to function. And in many protracted situations the lines between ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ have become blurred. Conflict is also increasingly urban; in Mosul and Mogadishu, for example, children, their homes and their schools are on the front line, vulnerable to indiscriminate attack. In today’s armed conflicts, there is often no longer a clearly demarcated battlefield: children’s homes and schools are the battlefield.

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