Children of War: The Most Endangered Species

July 26, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Zeeshan A. Shah

No social problem is as universal as the oppression of a childMaria Montessori.

Nations are at war as we succumb to casualties around the world. Children living in conflict zones today are being marginalized as countries seek solutions to a problem larger than life itself. The safety and security of children worldwide seems to be at stake, as there are more weapons of war being generated than food and shelter for the oppressed segments of society.

The laws that unite have failed to secure us and our children. The children of war remain in misery as rising death tolls exceed our wildest nightmares. Security agencies have failed to adopt a unified strategy that would combat this epidemic and blood is being spilt every day. Children are being forced to take up weapons of war, coerced into leading oppressed lives, separated from their loved ones and families, literally being brain-washed.



The intensity of war is the leading cause of intense emotional crisis in children in most fragmented nations where populations are higher than usual and resources are few and far between. Thousands of children are abandoned today in a state of perpetual war and left with severe trauma, which affects their future choices to a better safer life. Abandonment is a psychobiological condition in which earlier separation traumas interfere with current life. An earmark of this interference is intrusive anxiety which often manifests as a pervasive feeling of insecurity – a primary source of self-sabotage in our primary relationships and in achieving long range goals.

Children are makers of men. Psychologists over the years have ratified the theory that with proper care and help the child has it in him to grow to greater strength, to attain mental balance and a more energetic character. The child is not an inert being who owes everything he can do to us and is not an empty vessel that we have to fill. No, it is the child who makes the man and no man exists who was made by the child who once he was. The child creates its own mental muscles and remembers things in memory. These memories in turn shape the decisions children take in their lives, whether it’s the path of war or the road to peace. Media today is adamant to show the negative society and the eminence of war without depicting the impacts that are delivered on a young child s mind. The child’s eyes that see the violence eventually seeks it today, securing images that remain in memory leading to what we call today as the War Child or the Abandoned Child.



Under Article 31 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, all children are protected by law to be able to live and play in safe and secure environments, given all the basic rights to life from early childhood to adult life. Yet, reality shows a gloomy outlook as children are surrounded by perpetual war, on the streets, in their homes, across schools and in the battlefield. Global CRC on Rights of the Child binds every country to do more in the areas of Child Abuse and Neglect under Article 31 –encouraging efforts to improve living conditions, yet not a single framework has been adopted that prohibits and protects all children from being subjected to war.

Countries like Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, Turkey, Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan have already seen the physical damage on children as generations have been weakened by the onslaught of a fifth generation war. Now the war has spread its wings in Europe and America. Recent flashbacks of war indicate that it is the beginning of a new battle that is taking our children away from us. Not only that, our children are losing the language of love, the tranquility of the mind, the inner state of constant growth and above all the sense of order.



What are we giving to our children today apart from a negative society where millions are being spent to promote the idea of war and nothing is being done to ensure peace of mind of these oppressed humans of society. Lack of love, care, concern and security for the child has given rise to the vicious generation of men who are prone to violence and inspired to win by attrition – win by war as a means to live. As more and more children continue to stay out of schools, the numbers of new child recruitments in war zones is rising at an alarming rate. Research and experts indicate that in 90% of the cases, child mental abuse usually starts from home and social surroundings, where parents are repeat offenders – parents who encourage violence and guns in front of their children and blame the rest on the failing society and the weak legislation. Illegal child trafficking is another major factor that needs to be culminated on a more broad-based level, resulting from early childhood traumatic experiences that can be prevented. Moreover, global hunger, search of clean water and shelter, poverty and civil disorder are also important factors that are being created around pockets in different parts of the world leading to global insecurity amongst masses, eventually being passed out to their children.



Children today are the most endangered species in the world. They are being found in dirty streets and warzones instead of in parks and schools and the element of Nature Play is slowly being ruined by the aftermath of wars around the world. Unfortunately, preventive measures by Civil Societies, Media Moguls and NGOs are not good enough until the state itself no longer takes charge of enforcing laws that protect child rights. Child Trafficking within most countries has reached abnormal proportions and a concise crystal clear punishment strategy needs to be devised by the law enforcement agencies and Judiciary to stop our children from going to war.

The philosophy of war itself needs to be studied from the context and severity of its impact on the children of the world. No place today is safe – war is imminent. Child Rights must be enforced and implemented in its fullest forms to ensure stability and progress for the bright future of nations around the world and a serious thought has to be given to what now has become the world’s leading challenge, to defend its children from internal and external aggression that has created a most horrific reality – The Children of War.








Zeeshan A. Shah

The writer is a Director at CNNA Pakistan – a leading advocacy institute and is an expert on International Relations and Education Policy.

With over 150 publications in major local and global social media & newspapers, he has been instrumental in producing over 5000 radio broadcasts aired globally.

A thought leader, environmental journalist, media broadcaster and a change maker with an acute focus on development affairs & education for Pakistan.


  1. saffiyah tariq January 23, at 05:07

    well said zeeshan, you have raised a very sensitive issue in your article. children are very vulnerable and an easy target. world should take action and stop killing kids physically, emotionally and mentally.

  2. Tahir mirza January 22, at 03:31

    You’re doing a great job , by enlightening the general public, through your work ! Keep it up ??


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