Children are facing more devastating wars and disasters than ever before. In 2015, an earthquake in Nepal, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and conflicts raging on three continents have put children in terrible danger.

Protracted and violent crises in Syria, South Sudan, Iraq and Yemen have trapped children in emergencies of the severest and largest scale. Children have been forced to flee their homes in an attempt to save their lives and their futures; displaced in their own countries, living in refugee camps or making perilous journeys to Europe and other more developed regions. 

  • One in 10 children now live in conflict-affected areas (an estimated 230 million children)
  • Last year, children made up half or more of those affected by natural disasters (some 50 million children)
  • In 2014 children made up just over half of all refugees around the world – the highest proportion for more than a decade
  • The average amount of time people spend living in displacement worldwide is now a staggering 17 years – the length of a childhood.

Now is the time for action – seizing the opportunity of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, when we can change how the world responds to children in emergencies. The UK Government must make protecting children from violence a priority – committing to protecting children from extreme violence, protecting the schools that keep them safe, and protecting children who are torn from their families by wars and disasters

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Amira walks among the dirt in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq UNICEF/Schermbrucker

Publication details

Format: PDF

Filesize: 1795KB

Published: 2 November 2015

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