Ahmed, 13 , stands in front of the abandoned petrol station where he and his family now live.

The War On Children

See the child. Not the war.

Protecting Children in Conflict

Every sixth child on earth is now affected by armed conflict. But it's not hopeless - together, we can protect them and give them a better future.

Today, children are at more risk in war and conflict zones now than at any time in the last 20 years.

In countries like Yemen and Syria, children are trapped by the horrors of war. They need to be protected and given the chance to just be children again. 

Despite the collective efforts of the international community, brutal tactics are still commonly used against children: children are used as suicide bombers, their schools are directly targeted, and the widespread use of indiscriminate weapons like cluster munitions, barrel bombs and improvised explosive devices make no distinction between soliders and children.

Our new report, The War On Children, finds an increase in reported grave violations against children, mainly due to a crisis of compliance and a general absence of monitoring and reporting.

The nature of modern war has changed and has seen an increase in warfare in populated areas, leading to more children being harmed.

With your help, together, we can give those children who are already the victims of war the support to build brighter futures and we can stop future child victims of conflict by acting together to push governments to strengthen protection for children caught up in war. 

Protecting children in armed conflict

children behind the statistics

What we're calling for

In our new report, we're calling on governments and other groups with the power to protect children, to commit to these actions:
  • Preventing children being put at risk: Investments need to be made in peacekeeping, conflict-prevention initiatives and training for military forces on child protection.
  • Uphold international laws and standards: All countries and non-state groups should abide by their commitments under international laws, and should endorse the Safe Schools Declaration and Paris Commitments & Paris Principles. States and armed groups must commit to avoiding the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
  • Holding violators to account: We urgently need stronger monitoring and reporting mechanisms to properly track civilian harm and child casualties, and stronger justice systems that address violations of children’s rights in conflict. 
  • Rebuilding shattered lives: Funding for the rebuilding of children’s lives wrecked by conflict must be made available. We must invest in programmes for children affected by conflict, including providing the right mental health support for children, and training local mental health workers.

Take action