Children are always among the first affected by conflict, whether directly or indirectly. Armed conflict affects their lives in many ways, and even if they are not killed or injured, they can be orphaned, abducted, raped and left with deep emotional scars and trauma from direct exposure to violence or from dislocation, poverty, or the loss of loved ones.
The destruction wreaked by war is likely to mean that children are deprived of key services such as education and health care. Education, for example, is often disrupted due to hazardous roads or the absence of teachers. Often, schools are directly attacked, as was seen in September 2004 during the hostage crisis and subsequent calamitous battle in the Russian town of Beslan, which left more than 150 children and even greater numbers of adults dead. In Aceh, Indonesia, as part of the conflict between government forces and rebel groups, 460 schools were systematically burned to the ground during May 2003 alone. In Nepal, schools are regularly used as centres for propaganda and recruitment by groups opposing the government. Attacks on and abductions of both teachers and students are frequent.
||Figure 3.2: Where the conflicts are.|
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