September 29 2022 7:49 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Too many children lost

Jawad Anani
Jawad Anani is an economist, and has held several ministerial posts, including former deputy prime minister and former chief of the Royal Court. (Photo: Jordan News)
The pains inflicted on children throughout the world are increasing at a time when awareness of such pains is expanding.

Since Al-Aqsa Intifada in the West Bank, more than 2,200 Palestinian children were killed deliberately by Israeli soldiers and policemen. From the beginning of 2021 until March 31 this year, over 220 children were killed.اضافة اعلان

It seems that children are becoming the main victims of war in Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, West Africa, East Africa, and some Asian countries like India, Myanmar and others.

According to a February 15 report by Save the Children, 550,000 infants were killed in conflicts since 2013. It is estimated also that 420 million children are now living in conflict zones, or nearly 20 percent of all the children on the globe. These deaths are not only of children who died as a result of the conflict directly, rather they include those who died from “knock-on effects of nearby conflicts such as starvation, outbreak of diseases, damage to hospitals, or delays to aid deliveries”.

The report goes on to say that if one were to add only children aged five or less who died from direct military action, the number of casualties would jump from 420,000 to 870,000.

Leaving the war zones and dwelling on the abuse of children at work, one comes across shocking revelations as well.

According to a World Vision report titled Child Labor: Facts, FAQS, and how to help end it”, there 160 million children around the world between the age of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labor. Of these, 79 million work in hazardous jobs that can be life-threatening. These numbers could have been much worse if the International Labor Organization (ILO) had not enhanced its monitoring of child labor.
It is estimated also that 420 million children are now living in conflict zones, or nearly 20 percent of all the children on the globe.
Many children are sexually abused and many are used for their organs. The thugs and criminals of the world use children in assassinations, recruit them to fight in wars and exploit them in contraband activities.

Some families of children, especially in poverty-stricken areas, maim the children to make them beggars. Examples of child abuse have even been revealed at holy shrines.

We use terms like “lost generation” in order to draw attention to the size of atrocities which children endure and which practically destroy their lives. Glaring examples of such generations are the civil war generation (1975-1990) in Lebanon, the Syrian Civil War (2011-till now), the post occupation years of mayhem in Iraq (2003-2020), and the Palestinian children since 1967, the year of Israel occupation.

The world at large should begin to focus on the effects of these developments on its future. While we are fully immersed in thoughts about metaverse, quantum computers, geek smart children, we should remember the dark picture of the life of fading silhouettes rather than of avatars.


The writer is an economist, and has held several ministerial posts, including former deputy prime minister and former chief of the Royal Court.


Read more Opinion and Analysis
Jordan News