End the war on children

Demand action

I am calling on world leaders to end the war on children. They must commit to take decisive action by keeping children out of harm's way, holding perpetrators to account, and helping rebuild shattered young lives.

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      One in six children across the world are living in conflict areas, and children are more at risk in conflict now than at any time in the last 20 years. From Syria to South Sudan, Yemen to DRC, children are caught up in violence, which is not of their making. Children are being killed and maimed, raped and recruited, and being denied aid and medical care. Warring parties are bombing schools and hospitals on a scale not seen for decades.

      We are witnessing shocking abuses committed against children daily, despite the fact that warring parties are obliged to protect children from violations. Moreover, perpetrators are not being held to account.

      But it doesn’t have to be this way. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option. We have the power to make change happen. Now is the time to end the killing of children at their school desks and in their hospital beds. We must protect children in armed conflict.

      Stand with us in our call to end the war on children.

      We are calling on states, militaries and all actors with influence over the lives of children in conflict, to commit to take practical action in three key areas:

      • Keep children out of harm’s way by upholding international laws and standards, particularly the Safe Schools Declaration and rules on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The world must also invest in conflict prevention and the training of peacekeepers in child protection.
      • Hold perpetrators to account for violating the rights of children by properly tracking civilian casualties and supporting independent investigations. Any belligerent considering putting children at risk must know that if they do, they will feel the full force of international justice.
      • Help rebuild shattered young lives and broken childhoods by funding child protection programmes and training local mental health workers in conflict zones, even if that means seizing the assets of warring parties who violate children’s rights to do so.

      Download our War on Children report

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