Denver, Colo., Feb 18, 2019 / 13:50 pm
A new report commissioned by an international children's charity has revealed that 420 million children, or nearly one in five worldwide, lived in "areas affected by armed conflict and war" in 2017- a twenty-year high.
Save the Children (STC) commissioned the report and the Peace Research Institute Oslo conducted it, releasing this year's findings Feb. 14.
According to a release from Save the Children, today's conflicts are usually "protracted, urban and fought among civilian populations." In addition, combatants increasingly flout international rules and norms, leading to more children being forced to live and grow up in conflict areas.
The report states that 142 million children are living in high-intensity conflict zones, defined as an area with more than 1,000 battle-related deaths in a year. Nearly 90 percent of Yemen's children, 70 percent of Syria's children and 60 percent of Somalia's children were living in close proximity to high-intensity conflict in 2017, the report reads.
International agreements such as the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child include prohibitions on indiscriminate attacks and provisions for the protection of education for children, an obligation STC says is ignored in many modern conflict zones.
"It is shocking that in the twenty-first century we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple – children and civilians should never be targeted," said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children.