Beyond environmental health, there is another critical aspect of ensuring that children have safe, protective places to live, grow, learn, and play: an environment free of violence.
Situations of conflict, terror, and war present extreme, immediate threats to the safety and well-being of children and their caregivers. The realities of navigating such circumstances can make it all but impossible to create stable, health-promoting environments for children and for the adults around them. And, when young children experience high and persistent stress, it can disrupt the architecture of their developing brains and other biological systems, increasing the risk of negative consequences for lifelong physical and mental health.
As the conflict in the Middle East continues to unfold, our thoughts are with the Palestinian and Israeli children, as well as the many children living in areas of ongoing conflict around the world, whose current safety and future well-being are threatened by violence, displacement, and instability.
As a global society, we must prioritize humanitarian efforts aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of all children, as the impacts will last for generations to come.
All children, everywhere, deserve to live in safe environments that promote their healthy development.
Resources for Supporting Children and their Caregivers
We’ve compiled resources from the field that can be used to support young children during times of conflict.
- How to Support Your Child During Conflict and Crisis Situations (UNICEF)
- How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War (UNICEF)
- Young Children in Crisis Settings Resource Kit (Moving Minds Alliance)
- Urgent Call: Support Afghanistan, Israel, the State of Palestine and Other Ongoing Crises (ECDAN)