World Day Of War Orphans 2021: Significance of day observed to recognise plight of children affected by conflict

UNICEF defines an orphan as 'a child under 18 years of age who has lost one or both parents to any cause of death'

FP Trending January 06, 2021 11:43:26 IST
World Day Of War Orphans 2021: Significance of day observed to recognise plight of children affected by conflict

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World Day of War Orphans is observed annually to bring attention to the plight of children who are left distraught in the events of a war and other conflict. Children become one of the most vulnerable groups left on the verge of malnutrition, displacement, lack of health measures and education.

Every year, the World Day of War Orphans is observed on 6 January. This year, the day has gained even more significance amid the coronavirus pandemic. Global crises like a pandemic are bound to affect orphan children the most.

UNICEF defines an orphan as “a child under 18 years of age who has lost one or both parents to any cause of death”. This is in contrast to the definition in many industrialised countries, where a child is considered to be an orphan only when both the parents have passed away.

But UNICEF and its partner bodies broadened their understanding of the term during the AIDS pandemic when millions of parents were dying, leaving a high number of orphans in the world.

World Day of War Orphans 2021: History

The observance of World Day of War Orphans was started by the French body called SOS Enfants en Detresse. They worked to bring children hit indirectly by wars and conflict to normalcy. Every year, awareness programmes are conducted to make people understand the gravity of the plight and the poor conditions orphaned children are forced to face.

UNICEF clearly points out that the pandemic has “deepened acute food insecurity in countries already under intense strain, leaving millions of children at risk of famine”. For orphans who have no responsible or able adult to take care of them, they become the first to get hit during any crisis.

COVID-19 has put an added strain on the nations already jeopardised with the ill-effects of conflicts, disasters and climate change.

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