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Violence in conflict situations

Children have a right to protection from all kinds of violence in all kinds of emergencies, and are extremely vulnerable during a humanitarian crisis such as a conflict situation. They are at risk of recruitment into armed forces and groups, sexual violence, trafficking and exploitation, genocide, physical violence, killing and maiming, and other forms of harm. Family separation and the breakdown of national and community-based child protection systems make girls and boys especially vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect.

Save the Children aims to strengthen the ability of communities and young people to prevent recruitment of children into armed forces of groups. The organisation also supports communities to discuss and tackle root causes of conflict such as poverty, discrimination and unequal power relations between adults and children, and men and women. This is done through a variety of initiatives such as developing community protection systems, encouraging dialogue and conflict resolution where peacekeepers as well as military/police and criminal groups are included. It also includes the establishment of community protection committees, and strengthening the ability of families and young people to earn income. Child and adolescent participation and involvement is crucial.

Save the Children also works with the victims ensuring that those who have been associated with armed forces or groups are integrated back into their communities, as part of programmes that support all children who have been affected by the conflict.

Picture: Save the Children

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