230 million children live in conflict affected countries.
Conflict disrupts lives, access to education and employment. When children don’t have basic rights and opportunities, they are more vulnerable to exploitation. This can lead to their participation in violence, creating long lasting barriers to peace.
Children should not fight wars.
The growing use of children in the conduct of war around the world is a tragic problem that must be solved. Nearly 250 million children live in conflict-affected countries, with some 15 million children directly affected. As a result, young boys and girls end up fighting wars adults created. The alarming scale and severity of violations against children – including shocking levels of killing and maiming, recruitment and use and sexual violence – needs to be addressed.
According to the UN Secretary-General's 2016 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict, seven national armies and 54 armed groups operating in 14 countries recruit and use child soldiers.