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AVA Statements

AVA Statement for Children and War

At AVA, we advocate for the safety and well-being of children and their families worldwide.  As an organization committed to the recognition, treatment, and prevention of the adverse health effects of violence and abuse we recognize the profound and lasting impacts of war and violence on children, particularly the detrimental effects of witnessing violence.  We agree with the United Nations Convention On the Rights of the Child which states that “parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict” (Article 38)[i].

Children are inherently vulnerable, and exposure to war and violence can have devastating consequences on their physical, emotional and psychological development and well-being.  Experiences of violence, whether direct or indirect, can inflict trauma that lasts a lifetime.   In the short term, those experiences can manifest in psychological trauma, physical harm, loss of loved ones, and displacement and disruption.  The consequences of trauma on children resulting from  armed conflict and violence may in the long term include academic performance, social-emotional health and wellbeing, and perpetuation of cycles of violence in their communities.

In times of war, all involved parties should ensure adherence to International Humanitarian Law which requires care of the sick and injured, and access to humanitarian aid.  Public and private entities, individuals and organizations around the world must work together to mitigate the harms of war, conflict and violence on children and ensure that they are afforded the opportunity to grow up in peace, safety and dignity. 

As an organization, we are committed to supporting policies and initiatives that prioritize the protection and rights of children across the globe.[ii] [iii] [iv]We support efforts to provide access to essential services, including psychological support, education, healthcare, and safe environments for children to thrive. 



[i] UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, p. 3, 20 November 1989, [accessed 23 April 2024]

[ii] International Committee of the Red Cross. National Implementation of International Humanitarian Law:  Documentation National Implementation of IHL: Documentation | International Committee of the Red Cross (

[iii] Sherry Shenoda, Ayesha Kadir, Shelly Pitterman, Jeffrey Goldhagen, SECTION ON INTERNATIONAL CHILD HEALTH, Parminder S. Suchdev, Kevin J. Chan, Cynthia R. Howard, Patrick McGann, Nicole E. St Clair, Katherine Yun, Linda D. Arnold; The Effects of Armed Conflict on Children. Pediatrics December 2018; 142 (6): e20182585. 10.1542/peds.2018-2585

[iv] UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, p. 3, 20 November 1989, [accessed 23 April 2024