1 minute read


While the effects of war on adults, and the countries in which they live, have long been studied and fairly well understood, the effects of war on children were largely ignored until the late twentieth century. Increased scrutiny by the press, "instant news," and twenty-four-hour cable coverage brought the ravages of war and children's circumstances into people's homes. For example, studies have shown that more than two-thirds of the children in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s were afraid they were going to die, and an estimated 500,000 were traumatized by what they were forced to witness. Most countries recognize that children need special protection (but are often unable to provide it), with the minimum protective measures being that children must be shown special care appropriate for their circumstances, they should not be separated from their parents, they should not be recruited to fight in war if they are under fifteen years of age, and they should be evacuated from areas of danger to protected areas.


Qouta, Samir, Eyad El Sarraj, and Raija Leena Punamaeki. "Mental Flexibility as Resiliency Factor among Children Exposed to Political Violence." International Journal of Psychology 36, no. 1 (2001):17.

Smith, Patrick, Sean Perrin, William Yule, and Sophia Rabe Hesketh. "ADRA Dialogues with Security Council on Effects of War on Children." In the Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Australia [web site]. Available from http://www.adra.org.au/news/2000/28b_7_00.htm 2001; INTERNET.

Neil J. Salkind

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 8