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Children are considered one of the most vulnerable groups in society. 

Thus, ensuring their safety and well-being must be a top priority, and they should have the opportunity to learn, play and grow without fear or suffering.

Sadly, children are exposed to various forms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation daily, which can severely affect their physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

In this article, we will explore the importance of addressing children’s suffering and the various forms of abuse and exploitation they may experience, as well as the steps that can be taken to prevent them.

Challenges faced by children

Children pay the highest price in humanitarian crises as war, natural disasters, and other emergencies expose millions of girls and boys to unimaginable forms of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.

Here are some of the significant challenges that children face:

Poverty and lack of access to basic needs

Children who come from low-income families lack access to basic needs such as food, medicine, clean water, health care, and education.

This leads to malnutrition, disease, and poor health outcomes, which may affect children’s growth and development.

Violence, abuse, and exploitation

It is estimated that up to 1 billion children between the ages of 2 and 17 have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect worldwide in 2021.

Most violence against children includes at least one of six main types of violence:

  • Maltreatment: This involves physical, sexual, and psychological/emotional violence and neglect by parents, caregivers, and authority figures.
  • Bullying: It could be defined as unwanted aggressive behavior by other children or groups of children, offline and online.
  • Youth violence: This is concentrated among children and young adults aged 10-29 years and includes bullying, physical assault with or without weapons, and gang violence.
  • Intimate partner violence: This involves physical, sexual, and emotional violence by an intimate partner or ex-partner and disproportionately affects underaged females, particularly in child and forced marriages.
  • Sexual violence: This includes non-consensual sexual contact or acts, including online exploitation.
  • Emotional or psychological violence: This includes restricting a child’s movements, denigration, ridicule, threats, intimidation, discrimination, rejection, and other non-physical forms of aggressive treatment.

War, conflict, and displacement

The impact of war, conflict, and displacement on children is devastating. This is because children are:

  • The most vulnerable victims of these crises.
  • Face physical and psychological trauma.
  • Are exposed to homelessness.

Refugee children suffer the most in countries like Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, where years of conflict and instability have disrupted the lives of millions.

Some of the most noticeable effects of war, conflict, and displacement on children are:

  • Psychological trauma and stress can lead to long-term mental health problems.
  • Disruption of education and lack of access to basic needs such as healthcare and shelter.
  • Physical harm and injury, including death and disability from explosive weapons and remnants of war.
  • Increased risk of exploitation, including child labor, child marriage, and recruitment by armed groups.
  • Separation from family members.

Discrimination and marginalization

Although the problems of discrimination and marginalization are widespread in all parts of the world, and all age groups suffer from it, children are among the most affected groups.

One of the most serious problems affecting teenage females is gender-based violence, which often leaves them with long-term physical and psychological effects.

In many cases, girls are prevented from attending school, accessing health care, or participating in their communities.

Refugee children in neighboring countries also suffer from deprivation of education and access to their most basic rights to food and health care.

Addressing the Suffering of Children
Addressing the Suffering of Children

Mental health and emotional well-being issues

Mental health issues and emotional well-being are a growing concern for children worldwide, especially those affected by war, conflict, displacement, and natural disasters such as the recent earthquake in northern Syria and Turkey.

The psychological impact of these experiences is profound and long-lasting, with many children suffering from conditions such as:

  1. Depression, anxiety, and despair about the future.
  1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  1. Delayed mental, physical, and emotional development.
  1. Difficulty integrating into society and the inability to build emotional bonds with others.
  1. Behavioral disorders and hostile reactions.
  1. Eating disorders (resulting in malnutrition diseases).
  1. Isolation from society.
  1. Constant feelings of anger and self-flagellation.

Effective solutions to combat children’s suffering

In the wake of the humanitarian crises caused by war, conflict, and displacement, there is a pressing need for practical solutions to alleviate the suffering of children. The following strategies can help:

Providing support for displaced children

It is essential to support displaced children, including access to shelter, education, healthcare, and necessities. 

Therefore, at Bonyan Organization, we work round-the-clock to improve the living conditions of displaced children and families.

Addressing discrimination and marginalization through social inclusion and empowerment

Discrimination and marginalization of children based on gender, ethnicity, or religion are significant concerns in conflict-affected regions. 

To address this issue, social inclusion and empowerment programs can be implemented to provide opportunities for children to participate in society and build their self-esteem. 

Such programs can include community-based activities, vocational training, and education.

Enhancing mental health and emotional well-being support services

Mental health and emotional well-being support services are crucial.

These services can include counseling, therapy, and psychosocial support, as well as community-based activities that promote social interaction and positive coping mechanisms.

Bonyan’s efforts to protect children

Bonyan Organization is committed to protecting children affected by crises through its various programs, like:

  • Providing access to education.
  • Facilitating healthcare and psychosocial support.
  • Visiting families and the most isolated individuals to provide them with relief assistance.
  • Creating safe play spaces for children.
  • Providing theatrical performances and recreational activities for children.
  • Educating parents on how to care for children at all stages of their lives.
  • Supporting children with disabilities resulting from the war and integrating them into society.
  • Protecting children from being recruited by armed groups and the dangers of explosive weapons and remnants of war. 

Through its efforts, Bonyan aims to ensure that children affected by conflict have a brighter future and thrive despite their challenges.

You, too, can also extend a helping hand to those children by donating to our campaigns at the below link:




Why is it important to understand the symptoms of child maltreatment?

It is important to understand the symptoms of child maltreatment because it can help identify and prevent child abuse and neglect, which can have long-term adverse effects on a child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.

How do you explain suffering to a child?

Explaining suffering to a child should be done in an age-appropriate and compassionate way while providing them with emotional support. As well, care providers should use simple language, listen to the child’s concerns, and validate their feelings.

What are the 5 most important children’s rights?

The 5 most important children’s rights are: 
The rights to survival, development, and education are protected from violence, abuse, and neglect.