One Every Six Children is Affected by Armed Conflict in the World

Map describing the geographical distribution of children affected by conflicts around the world. Map describing the geographical distribution of children affected by conflicts around the world. © Save the Children & PRIO

25 February 2018
Save the Children published a report on the dire conditions of children affected by conflicts around the world.

On 14 February 2018, the worldwide known Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Save the Children, in collaboration with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), published a report titled “The War on Children”, denouncing the alarming conditions of children affected by armed conflicts around the world. The publication came strategically ahead of the Munich Security Conference scheduled from 16th-18th February.

The report shows that one every six children was affected by conflict in 2016, with the most alarming rate found in the Middle East where 2 in every 5 children lived within a 50 km range from a high intensity conflict area. The ten worst countries in the world for children to live in are, in order: Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR).

Since 1995, the number of children affected by conflict has increased of 70 per cent; to this latter information one has to add up a further increase of 300 percent taken place since 2010. The violations of human rights against children include those defined by the United Nations as “grave violations” i.e. killing and maiming; abduction; sexual violence; recruitment; attacks on schools and hospitals; denial of humanitarian assistance. These scary trends are mainly caused by the sharp increase in urban warfare and by a shift in the conception of war that has produced the normalization of indiscriminate targeting of civilians, and of siege and starvation tactics.

On February 20, UNICEF issued a blank statement to express its outrage for the conditions of children in Eastern Ghouta. The Twitter post by UNICEF MENA reads: “We no longer have words to describe children suffering and our outrage.”

The measures suggested in the report for ending children’s suffering are: prevention, through a better employment of peacekeeping; renewed compliance to international law; ending impunity; increased investments in re-building the shattered lives of the families and kids affected by conflict.


To read the full report, please visit:

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