Childhood in Conflict June 2019

In May, we launched our global campaign to #STOPTHEWARONCHILDREN. The campaign calls for the protection of the 420 million children who are exposed to the dangers of armed conflict on a daily basis. It sets out 3 measures to be taken by states to improve the situation of children in conflict zones, amongst them: to take practical action to protect children in conflict and enable their recovery. This month's Spotlight takes a deep-dive into the primary cause of immediate child deaths in conflict zones, explosive weapons.

Rockets, mortars, grenades, mines, and improvised explosive weapons are the leading cause of child deaths in conflict zones. There are multiple reasons for this. It is partially because children's bodies are more vulnerable to blastupon impact, their bodies fly further and land harderwhile they also have less blood to lose compared to adults. Beyond this, they face additional difficulties when seeking medical care. The specialist paedriatric care they need is rarely availble in conflict and emergency contexts, leaving their healing and recovery in jeopardy.

An inital step to bridge this life-threatening gap is providing medical professionals in the field with the technical guidance and knowledge they need to help injured children in the best way. Under the Paedratric Blast Injury Partnership, Save the Children and the Imperial College of London amongst other crucial stakeholders, have created the Peadiatric Blast Injury Manual.

From the library:

The Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual

The Field Manual has been created to provide technical guidance for those with medical training.  It enables the user to adapt their knowledge to the treatment of severely injured children.  It has paediatric-specific sections on:

The Manual gives medical staff, who often have little to no experience in performing operations, the knowledge to treat children from the point when they first suffer the blast injury and onwards. It also provides guidance on long-term rehabilitation and psychological and mental health support.

This is one initiative that will directly help children who have suffered a blast injury in a conflict area. Our hope is that this Manual will be built and expanded upon to improve children's chance to recover. It will, however, only remedy part of the problem. To ensure that every child has the chance to survive and to be protected, change is needed on a global scale. States and armed actors must re-commit themselves to upholding international and humanitarian laws that protect children in conflict, to keeping perpetrators who harm children accountable, and in supporting measures that ensure children's physical and psychological recovery in conflict.

Learn more about how explosive weapons threaten childhoods and the steps we are taking to reverse this horrific reality in Blast Injuries.

From the library:

Blast Injuries: The impact of explosive weapons on children in conflict

More children are living in conflict – and are more at risk in conflict – than at any time since the Cold War.

As we enter our 100th year, we re-commit ourselves to our founding mission: to hold ourselves, as well as others, to protect children in conflict. The time to act is now