January 6th is World Day of War Orphans. Aim of observing the day is to spread awareness and address the problems faced by orphans resulting from wars and conflicts. To hear them out and help them overcome the trauma. When children are forced to grow in orphanages, they often face emotional and social discrimination. World Day of War Orphans reminds the world that caring for children in traumatic circumstances is a priority. Children caught in the crossfire or estranged from parents need utmost care to heal the mental wounds of war, restart schools and everyday life.
The World Day of War Orphans was started by the French body, SOS Enfants en Detresse (SOSEED). Displaced children are a big part of International Displaced Persons, who are forced to leave everything – including their homes, workplaces, and possessions. They must not suffer and die of hunger and disease. SOS – Enfants en Detresse (SOSEED) is a non-governmental, humanitarian, and social action organization. Its primary concern is children’s status, especially those in need of protection against all forms of abuse and mistreatment.
If it is a war zone, then it would be nothing short than a horror story. An estimate puts that World War II created millions of orphans in Europe, with 200,000 in Yugoslavia and 300,000 orphans in Poland alone. Today in many war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, and other African countries, the numbers are alarming. In Afghanistan after 30 years of fighting, the number of orphaned children is now over two million with over 500,000 sleeping on the streets
Child victims are a high proportion of civilian deaths in recent conflicts. UNICEF statistics indicate that the number of civilian victims has been rising steadily. It is almost 90% by the end of the 1980s. A glimmer of hope is that since 2001, the number has declined slowly – at a rate of ~ 0.7% per year. There were nearly 140 million orphans globally, ~ 43.5% in Asia, 37.1% in Africa, 7.1% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 5.2% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The distribution is a reflection of children from poor countries facing the brunt.
Every person has a right to access to quality of life and more so a child. Ensuring their health and wellbeing should be a priority. Those orphaned due to war have an additional problem of living in fear. Providing a secure and safe environment for them is the responsibility of all human beings. Let us not forget children are in the word because elders decided to bring them.