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Protecting children in conflict

We support children living in conflict to create a brighter future.

How are children affected by conflict?

The United Nations estimated that over 460 million children were living in conflict zones in 2022. They are often separated from their families when escaping conflict in countries such as Syria, Ukraine, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

They're already facing challenges such as hunger and displacement, but many of these children are also being trafficked, abused and recruited as a child soldier. Children urgently need your help to survive, recover and build a future.

For over 70 years, World Vision has been helping families and children caught up in conflict and war. Together, we can bring hope to children in times of crisis.

How we’re protecting children in conflict zones

As a Christian charity, World Vision is committed to helping children affected by conflict. We work with communities to protect children from all forms of exploitation. Our goal is to help the most vulnerable children to experience fullness of life, even in the midst of conflict.

Together, we can support children in crisis

You can help us reach more children caught up in war and conflict, reducing their risk of exploitation and helping them create a brighter future. Your donation will go directly towards providing clean water, food, healthcare and child protection.

Facts about children affected by armed conflict

Children are particularly vulnerable in times of conflict and crisis, and it's likely they're already at risk of crises such as climate change and extreme hunger.

With your support, we work towards protecting children from the devastating effects of conflict. We advocate for children's rights, support families financially and ensure they have access to essentials like clean water, nutritious food and education.

Together we can help children in conflict

FAQs about children in war and conflict

  • War is defined as a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country. There are many different reasons for war and conflict, including economic gain, territorial gain, religion and political revolution.

  • War and conflict can have devastating effects of children, both physically and mentally. Children in conflict zones are at risk of the long-term impacts of extreme violence and destruction, including:

    • Psychological trauma: Children who are exposed to violence and death can lead to severe psychological trauma, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and anxiety.
    • Displacement: During conflict, families are forced to flee their homes. Children are subjected to displacement and instability, which can often lead to harsh living conditions, limited access to healthcare, poor nutrition, and disrupting their education.
    • Abuse: Children can be exposed to abuse as a result of the ongoing armed conflict around them. Many children are forcibly recruited as child soldiers, forced into early marriage and child labour.
    • Lack of basic needs: Conflict often disrupts access to everyday essentials such as food, clean water, shelter, and healthcare. Children are more susceptible to malnutrition, disease, and other health risks in such conditions.
    • Separation from family: Conflict can lead to the separation of children from their families due to displacement, death, or abduction. This separation causes emotional distress and increases vulnerability to exploitation.
  • The United Nations reports the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War.

    Countries around the world are experiencing conflict, resulting in significant casualties and the displacement of people including Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sahel Region, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan.

  • In today's conflicts, up to 90% of the people who get hurt are civilians, mainly women and children. Poverty, displacement, and lack of education or job opportunities are driving child exploitation rates.

    Girls are particularly vulnerable to the effects of armed conflict as it increases their risk of sexual violence, child trafficking, and forced marriage. Families are forced to make impossible choices like selling off their daughter to earn an income or to have one less mouth to feed.

    World Vision is partnering with communities to address child protection issues during conflicts. We ensure girls receive an education, have access to healthcare, and we work to promote gender equality so that girls are living in safer environments during conflicts.