War and Kids
Today, the world encompasses more than 25 conflict zones (according to the Council on Foreign Relations) where children are growing up under the shadow of war. At ChildVoice, we believe these young victims desperately need our help if they are to know a brighter future.
In recent years, the nature of armed conflict has changed, with children increasingly being used as instruments of war. The Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, published by the U.S. Department of State, found a 30% increase in the number of countries recruiting and using child soldiers. In the Trafficking in Persons Report 2018, countries listed as using armed child soldiers in conflict zones include South Sudan, Nigeria, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, all countries where ChildVoice currently works or hopes to have a presence in the near future.
There are other risks for children living in conflict zones as well. Changes in technology and shifts in war tactics have resulted in the use of aerial attacks, putting children directly in the line of fire. Additionally, there has been a recent increase in the use of child suicide bombers and child victim bombers. Many terrorist groups are targeting children specifically through attacks on schools and education, as demonstrated by Boko Haram, a terrorist group that abducted 276 girls from a school in Nigeria in April 2014.
We must act today to restore the voices of children silenced by war.
Why Adolescent Girls?
For the girl child, there are additional threats. Girls are particularly vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and forced labor. Tragically, girls are being exploited at earlier ages and for progressively more brutal uses, such as sexual slavery, chattel for trafficking, and as armed combatants. This exploitation of girls often precipitates a two-generation impact – the girl herself and the children she bears. Our desire is to break this cycle of abuse aimed at adolescent girls.