War and conflict leave people vulnerable. Children and women are more affected by break down of protection systems. They are vulnerable to rape, abduction, separation from their families, disabilities and grievous injuries, and long-term psychosocial effects.
Wars and conflicts have negative consequences in the lives of people in the area, but the effect is devastating on women and particularly children. There is the uncertainty factor and many families being forced to flee their homes, to be displaced within their countries or crossing borders as refugees.
Again, one can not deny the changing face of armed conflict and war in the world today. There has been a decrease in inter-state conflict but conflicts within countries and across borders is on the rise affecting the common people more. UNICEF in 2009 has noted that 90% of deaths during conflicts were civilians and 80% were women and children.
During armed conflicts, children and women also face a heightened risk of rape, sexual humiliation, prostitution and other forms of gender-based violence, which are downplayed as an unfortunate but inevitable side effect of war and conflict. Children are increasingly participating in war,deliberately recruited by government or rebel forces. The special needs of adolescents are often neglected during times of conflict and in the post-conflict rebuilding of their societies. Coupled with rapid social change which often precedes or accompanies war, armed conflict leads to a breakdown in the family support systems so essential to child's survival and development. Other forms of protection also slip away, particularly government and community support systems.
The situation of women and children. nature of human rights violations, the various legal measures at national and international level will be discussed with cross-cultural data in this session.