The changing nature of armed conflict over the past century has seen an increasing impact on civilians. It is estimated in most current conflicts that up to 80% of those affected by displacement, injury and death are women and children. Increasing attention to not only the impact of armed conflict on children, but an acknowledgement of their roles in armed groups has garnered great interest on the part of humanitarian actors, child rights activists and scholars, with an emerging consensus on appropriate approaches to protection. The evolution in child protection thinking has also led to an increasing emphasis on more holistic approaches to humanitarian interventions for children in situations of armed conflict. There is increasing recognition of the multi-dimensionality of the individual child and that his/her corresponding needs and rights are located in a variety of equally significant domains. This necessitates an integrated approach to protection, which entails collaboration across disciplines and innovative models of partnership. In situations of conflict, religious communities often have some of the few remaining structures, networks and services in areas ravaged by fighting and inaccessible to outside humanitarian intervention. Their humanitarian efforts are due to more than just presence, however. The world‘s major religions tend to place service within the contexts of broader callings towards peace making and community building. These efforts are so often under-reported, as they are the organic product of deeply held beliefs and worldviews.

 

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