Children Affected by Armed Conflict, 1990–2020

Policy brief

Østby, Gudrun; Siri Aas Rustad & Andrew Arasmith (2021) Children Affected by Armed Conflict, 1990–2020, Conflict Trends, 4. Oslo: PRIO.

While armed conflicts and crises affect people of all ages, children are particularly susceptible to the effects of violent conflict. This policy brief provides updated figures on the numbers of children at risk from violent conflict around the world. In 2020, more than two thirds of the world’s children were living in a conflict-ridden country. Approximately 452 million children – more than one in six – were living less than 50 km from where the actual fighting took place. Despite improved population data, we still need more systematic knowledge on how these children are both directly and indirectly affected by armed conflict, such as through killing and maiming, child soldier recruitment, sexual exploitation, denial of humanitarian access, and poor health conditions.

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