Institut für Friedenspädagogik Tübingen e.V.

Home / English / Topics of the I... / Children and War

Children and War

In this unit different aspects of children and war are explained.



Some things to think about

War harms everyone, especially children

Armed conflicts are a global scourge with devastating effects on children.

Estimated numbers of child victims of armed conflicts during the past decade:

Killed: 2 million.

Disabled: 4-5 million.

Left homeless: 12 million.

Orphaned or separated from their families: more than 1 million.

Psychologically traumatized: some 10 million.

Child Soldiers

In recent years, in some 25 countries, thousands of children under age 16 have fought in wars. In 1988 alone, there were as many as 200,000 child combatants.

Refugees and displaced populations

In 1995, 53 million people - one out of every 115 people on earth - were uprooted from their homes, either displaced within their countries or refugees across borders.

Children's trauma

War leaves emotional, as well as physical, scars on children - trauma that can cause long-term developmental difficulties unless recognized and treated.

A nationwide UNICEF survey of 3,000 children in Rwanda in 1995 found that they had been exposed to "unprecedented levels of exposure to traumatic events" during the genocidal massacres in 1994: over 95% of the children witnessed massacres, and over a third had seen the murders of family members; almost all believed they would die; and nearly two thirds were threatened with death. Over 80% had had to hide to protect themselves, many for up to 8 weeks or longer.

Anti-personnel mines (Landmines)

In 64 countries, an estimated 110 million of these hidden killers - 1 for every 20 children around the world - lie in wait for unsuspecting footfalls.

Source: UNICEF, 1997

Child Development and the Impact of War on Children and Youth Development, Pamela Baxter

baxter_childdev.ppt 75,00 kB

What's New


Peace Counts School