Separation and Loss Due to Political and Social Conflict: The Impact on Early Childhood Development

January 2011
Zero to Three;Jan2011, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p52
Academic Journal
Social and political conflicts such as war cause systemic violence; an utterly destructive force impacting the whole society, causing migration and displacement of families, and often resulting in forced or accidental separation of children from their caregivers. In fear of war and political persecutions, thousands of families, including women and their young children, leave their homes to find safety (Doctors Without Borders, 2004). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2010) reported that 43.3 million people around the world were refugees at the end of 2009, and more than half of them were children. The systemic violence of war is an ongoing, intense, and traumatic experience, and infants and toddlers are the most vulnerable to the damaging effects of violence. The author describes the impact of separation, loss, and war- related trauma on very young children and strategies for supporting those affected.


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