The impact of war on children
War affects children in all the ways it affects adults, but also in different ways. First, children are dependent on the care, empathy, and attention of adults who love them. Their attachments are frequently disrupted in times of war, due to the loss of parents, extreme preoccupation of parents in protecting and finding subsistence for the family, and emotional unavailability of depressed or distracted parents. The child may be in substitute care with someone who cares for him or her only slightly – relatives or an orphanage. A certain proportion of war-affected children lose all adult protection – “unaccompanied children,” as they are known in refugee situations.
Second, impacts in childhood may adversely affect the life trajectory of children far more than adults. Consider children who lose the opportunity for education during war, children who are forced to move into refugee or displaced person camps, where they wait for years in miserable circumstances for normal life to resume, if it ever does. Consider a child disabled in war; they may, in addition to loss of a limb, sight, or cognitive capacity, lose the opportunity of schooling and of a social life. A girl who is raped may be marginalized by her society and lose the opportunity for marriage. Long after the war has ended, these lives will never attain the potential they had before the impact of war.
Listing the impacts of war on children is a sadly straightforward task:
Death. Hundreds of thousands of children die of direct violence in war each year (2). They die as civilians caught in the violence of war, as combatants directly targeted, or in the course of ethnic cleansing.
Injury. Children suffer a range of war injuries. Certain weapons affect them particularly. A landmine explosion is more likely to kill or seriously injure a child than an adult (3). Thousands of children suffer landmine injuries each year (4).
Disability. Millions of children are disabled by war, many of whom have grossly inadequate access to rehabilitation services. A child may have to wait up to 10 years before having a prosthetic limb fitted. Children who survive landmine blasts rarely receive prostheses that are able to keep up with the continued growth of their limbs.
Illness. Conditions for maintenance of child health deteriorate in war – nutrition, water safety, sanitation, housing, access to health services. There may be loss of immunity to disease vectors with population movement. Refugee children are particularly vulnerable to the deadly combination of malnutrition and infectious illness. There is also interruption of population immunization programs by war which may be responsible for increases in child mortality.
Rape and prostitution for subsistence. These phenomena which often occur in situations of war, ethnic cleansing, and refugee life leave lasting physical impacts in sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, psychological impacts and changes in life trajectory.
Psychological suffering. Children are exposed to situations of terror and horror during war – experiences that may leave enduring impacts in posttraumatic stress disorder. Severe losses and disruptions in their lives lead to high rates of depression and anxiety in war-affected children. These impacts may be prolonged by exposures to further privations and violence in refugee situations.
Moral and spiritual impacts. The experience of indifference from the surrounding world, or, worse still, malevolence may cause children to suffer loss of meaning in their construction of themselves in their world. They may have to change their moral structure and lie, steal, and sell sex to survive. They may have their moral structure forcibly dismantled and replaced in training to kill as part of a military force.
Social and cultural losses. Children may lose their community and its culture during war, sometimes having it reconstituted in refugee or diaspora situations.
Child soldiers. It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of young people under 18 serving in militias in about 60 countries. They are particularly vulnerable to all of the impacts listed above (5).
Action on this cluster of tragic phenomena is usually considered under two categories – how to mitigate some of the damage to children and how to heal children after they are damaged.
Making war less damaging to children (secondary prevention)
1. Implement international humanitarian law regarding the protection of children in war. The Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Rights of the Child deal with protection of war-affected children with regard to food, clothing, medicine, education, and family reunion. In addition, they are intended to protect children from ethnic cleansing and recruitment into armed forces. However, compliance with these instruments is poor, especially when recruiting children to armed forces is concerned.
2. Ensure that general economic sanctions against a country are never used again, as they were used in Iraq as a substitute for war. Children and poor adults are those who suffer most from economic sanctions. Use of economic sanctions should be considered a war crime, just as is laying siege to a city to starve its population.
3. Ensure special consideration for children who are in flight from war zones and who live in camps for refugees and internally displaced people, especially children who are unaccompanied by adults. Special considerations need to be given for family reunion, systems of distribution of resources (sometimes to women rather than to men), internal layout of camps (to prevent attacks on girls), the provision of facilities for education and play, and special help for child-headed families.
4. Institute measures to reduce sexual exploitation and gender-based violence against women and girls in war. These measures include training of soldiers, including peacekeeping forces; inclusion of relevant interventions in humanitarian responses to population emergencies in war; reporting and support systems for victims of rape in camps for refugees and internally displaced persons; the prosecution of rape as a war crime; and making organized rape a crime against humanity.
5. Parties to a conflict must facilitate humanitarian assistance to ensure that the health infrastructure of children’s lives is not destroyed. Perpetrators should be prosecuted for such actions as destroying clinics, schools, and hospitals – all of which are protected by international law. Where access to health services, such as immunization, is hindered by the violent conflict, there should be humanitarian ceasefires to enable access.
6. Include children’s interests in peace agreements. Since 1999, several peace agreements have specifically referred to children in the post-violence arrangements for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (6). Children are recognized as victims and perpetrators of violence in several truth-and-reconciliation commissions, but children have played little role in these systems.
Rehabilitating children affected by war (tertiary prevention)
During the immediate humanitarian response to victims of war and in the longer-term attempts to reconstruct health services after war, there are attempts by both local and international actors to care for children’s needs for health care. Physical and psychological rehabilitation is instituted to varying degrees depending on the resources available. Sometimes these are minimal or absent. There have been many efforts to help the psychological impacts of war on children. Few have been evaluated.
Some efforts at rehabilitation of war-affected children include social healing moving toward education in the Culture of Peace. This is an approach to primary prevention of recurrence of war.
Imperative to end war
It may strike the reader that, although the many efforts to make war less damaging for children are important and should continue and be strengthened, this is a pathetically feeble response in the light of the intensity and magnitude of the suffering involved. From a certain perspective, there is even something preposterous about an exclusive focus on making war more tolerable for children. We rail against approaching HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria in this way. Poverty, on the other hand, like war, may be treated with the assumption that it will always be with us, and is a fact of life. These assumptions should be vigorously challenged.
War is a recent phenomenon in human evolutionary history. For most of our species’ existence there is no evidence of war.
There are many current cultures without war.
In the European Union, social institutions for dealing with conflict have evolved to a point where war is unthinkable between member states.
There are clear alternatives to war in dealing with intra- and inter-state conflicts.
Judicial process: The World Court resolves many interstate conflicts.
Democratic functioning is designed to resolve intra-state conflicts. Good design of constitutions is another factor in this function.
Dialogue: UN conflict management capacities already quietly resolve many serious conflicts. Better resourcing could enhance these capacities. Other agencies also act in this mode.
Nonviolent struggle is frequently successful in deposing dictators or dysfunctional regimes. Usually this is done without good organization or training. Such efforts could be even more successful with these resources added.
Cultural change from endorsement and support of violence in conflict response to support and knowledge of peace processes. Consider cultural change in Sweden over the last few centuries from a belligerent country to a peaceful one. UNESCO has worked specifically to promote a culture of peace.
It is time for health professionals to define war as a serious global public health problem. The public health imperative is primary prevention – removing the vector of illness or making conditions unfavorable for survival of the vector. If a peace system can be devised for an entity as large, diverse, and populous as Europe, it can be devised at a global level. It would be naive to suggest that this is easily achievable. But it would be cynical, in the light of the suffering of the war-affected children of the world, to accept war as an inevitable part of the human condition. There are global networks, formal and informal, of health professionals who think in terms of eliminating war and who work to accomplish this. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is such a network, particularly focusing on the role of health professionals working to eliminate war (7). A network with the same goal is TRANSCEND, a peace and development network which includes several physicians (8).
1. Santa Barbara J. Can medicine contribute to preventing war? Croat Med J. 2004;45:783–5.[PubMed]
2. Machel G. The impact of armed conflict on children: report of the expert of the secretary general of the United Nations. New York: United Nations; 1996. Available from: http://www.unicef.org/graca/a51-306_en.pdf, Accessed: October 21, 2006.
3. Pearn J. Children and war. J Paediatr Child Health. 2003;39:166–72.[PubMed]
4. US Fund forUNICEF. Landmines pose the greatest risk for children. Available from: http://www.unicefusa.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=duLRI8O0H&b=279482&ct=307827. Accessed: November 14, 2006.
5. Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers. Child soldiers global report 2004. Available from: http://www.eldis.org/static/DOC16469.htm, Accessed: November 10, 2006.
6. Collier P, Elliott VL, Hegre H, Hoeffler A, Reynal-Querol M, Sambanis N. Breaking the conflict trap: civil war and development policy (A World Bank policy research report). Washington DC: World Bank and Oxford University Press; 2003.
7. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Available from: http://www.ippnw.org. Accessed: November 22, 2006.
8. Transcend. Available from: http://www.transcend.org. Accessed: November 22, 2006.
War and Peace
Definition of war
War is a terrible evil, which can destroy the nation. Causes of the war can bring many difficulties into the life. It refers to an armed battle nation. During the war, a family can suffer many problems, if any member of the household will die in the war.
“When we declare war for peace, we may win the war and lose the battle.”
Causes of war
War can cause the many problems and difficulties in life such as
- Property may destruct during the war,
- Wealth can destroy,
- Trade and industry bear losses.
- War can ultimately make upset in the social life of people.
- War causes streams of blood and untold havoc.
- It destroys the sensibility of the human nature and arouses hatred and jealousies.
- It crooked conspiracies and such other base instincts of human nature.
Sometimes the war is the necessary evil and only the process of solving disputes, but in reality, it can become a long argument because of some person, who does not maintain the peaceful manner.
Definition of peace
Peace is the great solution to everything. It is the identity of a real man, who are not interested in any fight and concentrate their mind among nations. It is the complete freedom of disturbance.
The peace is that manner, where no any possibility of war or fight by people. If the world starts following order way, then no any war can take place in the mind of individuals. Once the world starts believes that war is the unnecessary thing and decide to abolish the war ultimately, they will certainly find a way for peaceful co-existence.
Why peace is greater than war
There are the many reasons in the world, why peace is greater than war. Everyone should follow the order manner.
- The main reason of the peace is great is that human being can love by everyone.
- Peaceful manner is universal in nature.
- Peace fulfilled all necessary intentions.
- It is greater than war because war can harm to each other, but peace never creates any harm for anyone.
- A war cannot achieve, which can make possible by the peace.
- The forces of peace can rule over ignorance and superstition, over illiteracy and immorality, over disease and physical suffering, over poverty and governmental oppression.
- The conquest of the peace is non-violence and bloodless as compare to war.
- Peace does not damage the life or property of the person, and it does not cause grief to humanity.
Wars in history
In 1914-18, the first battle starts and ends with the establishment of the League of Nations. The purpose of League of Nations was to explore the possibilities how further conflicts could avoid.
In spite of all good intention, the fury of another war could not abate.
According to World War II, there was much deadlier as compare to War I. that time most of the people have fought and waged with each other and ended in the last. The universal nation’s organization was formed as a forum to find a ways and means for a lasting comprehensive peace.
Where there is war, can be evil and ends the all. Most of the people died in the world war. In all individuals, many warriors also included. They perished in the war and his wives become the widow. They become unassisted in their life.
One power is the victor and other the vanquished. The winners revel in glory the vanquished wreaths in pain, even the victors have the hundreds and thousands of homes destroyed. Children and women rendered unassisted, and the vanquished have still many more calamitous after effects to suffer.
It is only some territories and lands, which declared that who are won and lost in the battle. The loneliness is the gain of war achieves. The other benefit of war, if that could be called a gain at all, is that the victor gets regarded as the great power, feared and awed by others.
Battle by the great person
In the countries, there are many great people, who fought for the countries. There was also much empire on large tracts of land, which was spread by the Romans.
Alexander was the great conquer and conquered countries after countries. Tamburlaine got the renown of having ravaged countries after countries to bring under his sway.
Mahmud Ghazni was that person, who attacked in India seventeen times only to carry cart and camel loads of treasures and wealth.
Ashoka fought the bloody battle of Kalinga.
Akbar faced with the relentless encounters with Rana Pratap.
Napoleon and Bismarck also came for the fought. They were the great soldiers and their names in the history that they fought only to vanquish foes and gain territories or loot the riches.
The H.G Wells has rightly said that ‘hundreds and thousands of man uniformly dressed for carrying the body with by deadly weapons go to the theater of war.
In the war, more of the people kills, who don’t know about deadly weapons and who have done them no wrong.
We are all aware in the Nagasaki and Hiroshima the bomb was dropped, which turns the many causes in the towns. The city people may render many troubles.
It was the World War II, which brought about the horrors of devastation. After dropping the bomb, there are many of people died, women and children either dead or maimed for life. Only America could claim to have emerged as a high power. It was the gain of this war.
By the war, it causes on the waste of resources of the country; those resources could be better have applied to the right use of human welfare.
The wars drain all resources, which could have helped in establishing flourishing industries. It is the mean of energy. It can cause on the great lands, which can give the plenty of foods by growing for the human being.
During the war, the human mind becomes overshadowed by a sense of insecurity and danger and no constructive thinking could ever get a chance to flourish. Humankind sees the worst nature of human during the war.