9 Numbers – The Threat Against Children in Armed Conflict Globally

JB Shreve
July 30, 2019 2 mins to read
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The United Nations Secretary-General has issued his annual report to the Security Council regarding the toll armed conflict is taking on children around the world. The following numbers demonstrate some of the most alarming aspects of the growing threat against children in armed conflict worldwide.

  • 12,000 +

The number of children killed or taken captive in armed conflict last year. Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, and Syria have the highest child casualty totals. This is the highest total since the UN Security Council began monitoring these numbers in 2005.

children in armed conflict

  • 3,062

Child casualties in Afghanistan. These children accounted for 28% of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2018.

children in armed conflict

  • 1,854

Child casualties in Syria. These came about by way of airstrikes, cluster munitions, and the infamous barrel bombs.


  • 59 and 2,756

The number of Palestinian children killed and injured. This is the highest number of child casualties in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict since 2014.

children in armed conflict

  • 6

The number of Israeli children injured through the conflict last year.

  • 2,300

Child recruits as young as 8 years old used in the conflict in Somalia. Somalia also has 1,609 reported cases of child abduction through armed conflict, and 331 reported cases of sexual violence against children.

children in armed conflict

  • 1,023

Attacks on schools and hospitals in 2018. Syria led the way here with nearly 25% of all such attacks. Injured children are frequently the greatest victims in attacks on hospitals and the primary victims in attacks on schools.

  • 1,248

Child prisoners in northeast Syria in areas formerly controlled by ISIS. In Iraq, that number is 902 who are suspected of ties to ISIS. Israel is holding 203 Palestinian children.

These numbers related to children in armed conflict are getting worse, not better.