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1Renajah LeeAaron SanchezMs.KongGeography Honors Period 122 January 2018The Sri Lankan Civil WarArmed conflict or war is defined as ” a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary. Armed conflict drastically affects people and even the environment in a negative way. For example, war degrades the environment, and will most likely damage nearby rivers, trees, and the habitats of animals. Likewise, armed conflict destroys the mentality of plenty of people. It affects them financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to a PDF (portable document format) entitled, ” Youth and Armed Conflict” by the United Nations, children depict a large amount of the population in most countries impacted by war. Children face many obstacles in an area affected by war because they endure the hardships of being recruited as child soldiers, the possibility of being killed or maimed, as well as being deprived of education, health care, their own families, and other essential necessities. That is why and how armed conflict influences the development and adolescence of children.One region where this occurs the most is in the northeast more specifically in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an island that is located south of India. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka is one of many areas where children are impacted negatively by armed conflict. The Sri Lankan Civil 2War is an example of where children were directly affected. This war was a revolt against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers or LTTE. They fought to produce their own independent state. As a result, the government instituted the draconian prevention of terrorism act to ensure safety upon civilians. However, this act did not unveil they way the expected it to. Children lost the privilege of attending school due to the dangerous conditions they were surrounded by. This was one major impediment that the children of Sri Lanka struggled from. This armed conflict lasted for almost twenty-five years. One positive result from this war, however, was the growth of the economy despite the civilians suffering from the impact of war. Essentially, the war caused significant hardships for the population, environment, and the economy in the country. The Sri Lankan forces attempted to retake the areas that were captured. Sri Lanka failed four times to bring peace back to there countries. Sri Lanka’s economy has enjoyed growth during the last few years, despite suffering from the impacts of the war. During Sri Lanka’s 25 year war there have been more than 60,000 people dead and an estimate of one million displaced according to UNICEF, an organization that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to women and children worldwide. Throughout the Sri Lankan civil war and several years after, children under the age of 17 have been targeted and recruited/forced to become child soldiers. Even though the number of recruitments has slightly decreased since 2002, children are recruited as combatants and as military service roles. The age of the average child soldier ranges from 14 to 16 years of age. 3However there a records from previous years that display child recruitments as young as 7 years old. Child soldiers are one of the multiple issues that children suffer from. Some also end up staying on the streets, being a drop out from school and even engaging in extremely dangerous labor. UNICEF has been assisting Sri Lanka’s war-affected communities by starting an action plan for children affected by war. This action provides children and their family members with much-needed support and engagement activities to restore a sense of normalcy to their home, as well as minimize the possibility of child recruitment. The action additionally gives children the opportunity to access improved health care, skills training, education, and income generation.  We should do all we can to protect people in armed conflict. Those people, should not only  be able to be protected from attack and the impact of conflict but also should have the right to go about their daily lives. We could help IHL, an organization that regulates the conflict of war and helps suffering communities that are severely influenced by the consequences of war. IHL additionally helps prevent violation, and strengthen peace building in the long term. One way we could assist the International Humanitarian Law is by donating items to people influenced by armed conflict or even do volunteer work. Likewise, UNICEF mentions in several sources how they create recreation packages for children as a method to aid any added pressures. So for the kids in Sri Lanka we could donate rarely used or new sports equipment and games to areas where children suffer the most from the aftermath of the war. Even though the war ended multiple years ago donating 4these supplies to either organization will serve as an alternative children can do and enjoy when school is over. In summary, those are various things that could have and still can help assist the children that suffer from the Sri Lankan Civil War.5Work Cited The United Nations. “Youth and Armed Conflict.” Accessed 21 January 2018          “War.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/war. Accessed 21 January 2018          “Our Focus Areas.” UNICEF Sri Lanka – Our Focus Areas – Children Affected by Conflict, www.unicef.org/srilanka/activities_1677.htm. Accessed 21 January 2018

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