Children as Victims
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Children as Victims

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Unit of work about how children are affected during armed conflict. This unit is based on a unit by the Red Cross in the UK.

Unit of work about how children are affected during armed conflict. This unit is based on a unit by the Red Cross in the UK.

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  • 1. Children as Victims
  • 2. Learning Outcomes
    • Once you have completed the activities:
    • you should start to understand the disruptive effects war can have on the lives of children
    • you should have an opportunity to reflect on what can happen during a conflict situation and during its aftermath
    • you should be able to feel a sense of empathy towards a child as a victim of war.
  • 3. Children as victims of conflict Six million children have been wounded in armed conflicts in the last ten years. Many modern day conflicts last the length of a childhood. It is not just children who are maimed and killed by war but the very resources that are needed to help them develop skills for their adult lives. Schools and hospitals are also affected and often, following a protracted war, many countries lack the resources to rebuild their infrastructure. Of all the refugees in the world, half are children. There may be as many as 12 million children who have been forced to flee their homes.
  • 4. Children as victims of conflict Children orphaned by conflict Those children who survive living in war zones have often seen members of their families killed and believed that they too would die. Mental health workers say these experiences can devastate children. They estimate that over the last decade ten million children have been psychologically traumatised by war. In Rwanda, the genocide in 1994 left an estimated 400,000 orphans.
  • 5. Children as victims of conflict Children as landmine victims Landmines and unexploded bombs also injure large numbers of children living in areas of confl ict and often remain active long after the hostilities are over. The consequences of coming into contact with a mine can be devastating: • loss of limbs • loss of eyesight • blindness • psychological trauma. Currently there are a number of mine clearance programmes in operation around the world, together with victim assistance schemes.
  • 6. Children as victims of conflict
    • Some facts about landmines
    • There are 100 million mines waiting to be cleared
    • It can take a three-person team one month to clear mines from an area the size of a tennis pitch
    • A mine can be bought for as little as $3 but costs between $300 and $1000 to clear
    • Mines are produced by 100 companies in 52 countries
    Several organisations are involved in programmes to assist landmine victims and stop the use and production of these weapons. They are calling for a total ban on the use, production and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines.
  • 7.  
  • 8. Children as victims of conflict Look at the pictures and answer the questions at the end .
  • 9. Children as victims of conflict
  • 10. Children as victims of conflict What could have happened here? Was it an accident? What might have happened to the rest of the family? What can be done to help the victims? How will this affect the rest of their lives? What can be done to stop this?
  • 11. Children as victims of conflict Landmine victim A landmine injured this child. It changed her life forever. Landmines surround the village where she lives. List what positive things could be done to prevent this from happening again. Short Term Long Term Draw a plan of the village and write down some of the measures you would introduce to help reduce these kinds of incidents.
  • 12. Children as victims of conflict How could these children have become involved in this situation? Why shouldn’t they fight to protect themselves? What do you think has happened to the other members of their family? What kind of future do they have? How would you stop this from happening?
  • 13. Children as victims of conflict Children affected by conflict Asra lives in the Middle East. Each day when he walks to school he has to be careful, since his route takes him through an area known for snipers. Recently, a car bomb attack maimed and killed many people in the area. Asra has to make sure that he’s always mindful of this as he makes his way to school. During the day, he can sometimes hear the sound of gunfi re or the scream of a missile in the distance. During the evening, Asra often goes out with his friends. Sometimes they come across military checkpoints. One game they like to play is throwing stones at the soldiers to make them angry and fi re warning shots in the air. Asra’s father has told him this is a very dangerous thing to do but his older brothers and sister say that he should demonstrate to the soldiers that he wants them to leave.
    • Questions
    • How do you think Asra feels before he leaves for school each morning?
    • Is it a good idea to throw stones at the soldiers? Give your reasons.
    • Why do you think Asra feels the way he does about the soldiers?
    • What could happen to make him change his mind?
    • Why do his brothers and sister encourage him to intimidate the soldiers?
  • 14. Children as victims of conflict
    • Extension activities
    • Write a letter to the government or an aid organisation expressing your concern over the effects of landmines on children’s lives.
    • Organise a campaign to help raise money for the victims. Produce some posters and decide on a fundraising activity.
    • Design a brochure explaining the dangers of landmines and their long-term results.
    • Look through some coloured magazines and newspapers and cut out portrait images of children living in a country at war. Stick them onto a large sheet of paper and produce your own ‘sea of faces’.
  • 15.
    • Extension activities
    • Make some copies of a world map and indicate armed conflicts that are currently taking place in the world. Investigate how children have been caught up in these conflicts and list some of the possible problems they are facing.
    • Put on an assembly that highlights the problems faced by a young person living in a country affected by war.
    • Produce a series of posters depicting some of the problems of children caught up or affected by war.
    • Using the internet, investigate how different organisations provide support to children who have been caught up in armed conflict.
    Children as victims of conflict
  • 16. Vocabulary landmine explosion, unexploded bombs amputation disability orphans