all the refugees in the world, half are children. There
may be as many as 12 million children who have been forced
to flee their homes.
Here, such children talk about how they lost their families
during times of war and how they are now being given shelter
and helped to trace their relatives again.
'The guards said:
'Who wants a child?
Read Ricardo's story
part of a campaign of terror used in the 12-year-long
El Salvador civil war, children were stolen from their
families by the American-backed military.
The strategy terrorised the peasant families caught
between the guerrillas and the military.
The kidnapped children were either used by the military,
or placed in children's homes where they were told they
More than two thousand such Salvador 'orphans' were
adopted during the civil war, many went overseas. When
Ricardo was 8 years old, his village was attacked and
burnt. He was taken by the military.
to 200 000 Chechen civilians remain in the refugee camps
over the border with Ingushetia, tens of thousands are
staying in Chechen capital Grozny, despite all-out Russian
army attack on the town. Months of war saw hundreds
of kids orphaned and their families separated, life
in camps brought hunger and disease. Often relatives
were risking their life going back to Chechnya, looking
for their families. Sometimes kids were making this
reports on Chechnya from BBC News Online
Since widespread civil strife erupted in Kosovo, more
than half a million people have left Yugoslavia’s southern
Many of them are children.
Despite some highly publicised air lifts of Kosovan
refugees to other European countries, the majority of
the refugees remain in makeshift accommodation in Macedonia
is monitoring their condition on a daily basis.
About seven million refugees left Afghanistan in the
1970s when the war between the Jihad militia and the
Soviet-backed government intensified. After two decades
of war, Afghanistan is now controlled by the Taliban
but the country remains volatile.
Two million Afghan refugees have settled in Pakistan
and one and a half million in Iran.
Children live in camps with very basic amenities, where
a rudimentary system of education is in place.
'Of all the refugees
in the world,
half are children'
are the white doves of peace'
Read the children's song
want to stay in Kosovo."
Read Riland's story
'They told us their parents got
the poverty in Rwanda, some families are fostering children
who were orphaned in the genocide.
Even though Mapendano already has six children of her
own, with support from the Save the
Children Fund, she has taken 2 more children into
She doesn't know if the children will be with her forever
or if one day they will be claimed by a lost relative.
back," they said, "They are shooting people
there". We decided to go to Khasavyurt. Two old
women came up to us and warned us that we'd be shot
at if we went that way... If Russians had seen us, they
would have arrested us because we are Chechens."
and Amina, 7 and 12 Chechnya
gave us out like chickens.'
my little brothers died, after one of them found an F1
Not knowing what it was he hit it with a rock.
The bomb exploded and killed all of them and three other
problem is that they have no brothers or sisters.
So even if they leave this place where will they go?
They can't say out there is our home, we can go back after
It is not there!'
member of the
Sisters of Calcutta,
my relations have died.
They were burnt to death.
When we went back we found the house demolished.
Nothing was there.
No house. Nothing.'
Odetta, 17 Rwanda
used to talk and they would try to console me, telling
me I was not the only one.
They would tell me to persevere because it was the will
just wanted to help.
was not a question
of having the means.'
Foster mother, Rwanda