Legacies of War: Helping Children Around the World Affected by War
Wars are dramatically altering the lives of children and youth around the world. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s children—1.5 billion of them—live in the 42 countries currently affected by armed conflict, while another 11.2 to 13.7 million have been internally displaced as a result of war. Living in an area affected by war often ruptures the fabric of life that supports healthy child development, severs family and community ties, and forces children to live in societies where basic social systems have been degraded or completely collapsed.
As Canada Research Chair in Youth, Gender and Armed conflict, Dr. Myriam Denov is addressing key gaps in theory, methodology and service provision in this area. She is investigating the lasting effects of war on three poorly understood groups of children and their families: children born of wartime rape; former child soldiers and their reintegration into society following war; and children and families who face migration and resettlement as a result of war.
Denov and her research team will explore children’s complex relationships and interactions with their families, schools and communities as well as with broader society.
Denov’s goal is not only to uncover the long-term impacts of war on children and their families, but to provide a solid, pragmatic knowledge base for meeting their complex needs both during and after war. This research will help local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations to take concrete action when it comes to war-affected children and families, and will influence future policy and programming at the local, national and international levels.