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Children at Risk of Wartime Sexual Violence, 1990–2019

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World
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PRIO
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Nagel, Robert; Ragnhild Nordås; Gudrun Østby; Siri Aas Rustad & Andreas Forø Tollefsen (2021) Children at Risk of Wartime Sexual Violence, 1990–2019, Conflict Trends, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

In 2019, approximately 72 million Brief Points children were living in a conflict zone where one or more armed actors were reported to perpetrate sexual violence against children. By this metric of risk, we also find that the number of children at risk of wartime sexual violence has increased since the 1990s. This brief presents new subnational estimates of this risk to children for the period 1990–2019. The study this is based on was commissioned by Save the Children and generated by PRIO, based on a new update of the SVAC database.

Brief Points

• In 2019, around 72 million children (3% of all children globally) were living in a conflict zone with reported risk of sexual violence against children.

• 22 of the 54 conflicts in 2019 had reports of armed groups committing sexual violence against civilians; 15 of these involved actors that were explicitly reported to have used sexual violence against children under 18.

• The number of children living in conflict zones with risk of sexual violence against children has increased since 1990.

• The five countries in 2019 with the highest share of children living in conflict zones with reported wartime sexual violence are Yemen (83%), Somalia (56%), Iraq (49%), Syria (48%) and Colombia (24%).