Progress for Children Homepage
PROGRESS FOR CHILDREN: A WORLD FIT FOR CHILDREN STATISTICAL REVIEW View Previous Editions>

Children affected by armed conflict

Children affected by armed conflict

World Fit for Children goal: Protect children from the impact of armed conflict and ensure compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law

Some 1.5 billion children – two thirds of the world’s child population – live in the 42 countries affected by violent, high-intensity conflict between 2002 and 2006. But the impact of armed conflict on children is difficult to estimate because of the lack of reliable and up-to-date statistics.

It is estimated that there are 14.2 million refugees worldwide, of whom 41 per cent are believed to be children (under the age of 18). On the same basis, there are 24.5 million people who are internally displaced because of conflict, of whom 36 per cent are children. There are no reliable figures on the number of children associated with armed forces, but more than 100,000 children have been demobilized and reintegrated since 1998.

39 MILLION PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ARE REFUGEES OR INTERNALLY DISPLACED

Global estimates (in millions) of the number of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and populations of concern, all ages (2006)

Note: ‘Populations of concern’ is a term used by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to describe all groups living with the effects of forced displacement, including refugees, IDPs, returnees, asylum seekers and stateless persons.

 

MORE THAN 40 PER CENT OF REFUGEES ARE CHILDREN

Children and women as percentage of all refugees, IDPs and populations of concern (2006)

 

Sources for figures on this page: Global estimates are based on data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre of the Norwegian Refugee Council, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Proportions of children and women were extrapolated using percentages provided by UNHCR based on country-level samples drawn from its populations of concern. Number of violent, high-intensity conflicts, 2002–2006: Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research; these include severe crises, in which violent force is repeatedly used in an organized way, and wars, in which violent force is used with a certain continuity in an organized and systematic way.