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August 1, 2007

Children of War and Opportunities for Peace

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Ursano); and Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida (Dr Shaw).

JAMA. 2007;298(5):567-568. doi:10.1001/jama.298.5.567

Abused and tortured, while required to wound and kill—such is the daily world of nearly a quarter of a million child soldiers. More than 2 million children have been killed in war in the last decade and 6 million have been permanently disabled or injured.1 One and a half million individuals are displaced due to war and conflict in Uganda alone.2 It is estimated that more than 30 armed conflicts are occurring around the globe at present involving more than 25 countries1 and in 30 situations the rights of children are being gravely violated.3 Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are the most familiar to people in the United States. Other conflicts are equally as deadly and are building legacies that will require decades or centuries from which to recover, a timeline that goes beyond individual goals and only exists in the collective human desires to change the world for the better.