From Despair to Hope: Children beyond Armed Conflict features the stories of conflict-affected children through powerful portraits taken by photojournalist Paddy Dowling. Each portrait tells the unique, tragic, and compelling story of a child living in a conflict setting and emphasizes their plight, but also their resilience.
Children are the most vulnerable in situations of conflict. Wars and hostilities deprive them of their lives, families, homes, education — essentially from their very childhood. They become both targets and instruments of war. They are recruited as child soldiers, abducted, sexually violated, maimed, or killed. Their schools and hospitals are attacked, and they are deprived of essential humanitarian aid.
Ensuring that the needs of children are addressed before, during, and after conflict is at the core of the Children and Armed Conflict Mandate. Despite the horrors they have endured, children have a chance to recover from atrocities and become positive agents of change in their communities. But for that, they need our support.
Using portraits as its basis, the exhibition From Despair to Hope: Children beyond Armed Conflict aims to reflect on the complexity of the lives of children amidst conflict — emphasizing both the tragedy and the faith in a better future.
Paddy Dowling is a globally-renowned British humanitarian photojournalist and correspondent. His documentary photojournalism highlights the human collateral in conflict, global challenges to protect children, and the effects of climate change on Indigenous and tribal minorities. He works for the international press, UN agencies, global foundations, and international NGOs.
The mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict was created by the United Nations General Assembly 25 years ago. Its goal is to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict, raise awareness, promote the collection of information about the plight of children affected by war, and foster international cooperation to improve their protection.
Children are the primary victims of armed conflict. Around the world, over 400 million children live in countries affected by violent conflict, per UNICEF’s figures. According to the latest Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict, 19,379 children were victims of grave violations in 2020.
The six grave violations against children as identified and condemned by the UN Security Council are:
- The recruitment and use of children
- The killing and/or maiming of children
- Rape and other forms of sexual violence
- Abduction of children
- Attacks on schools and hospitals
- Denial of humanitarian access
Ending and preventing grave violations against children is at the heart of the Children and Armed Conflict Mandate.
Find more information here.
From Despair to Hope: Children Beyond Armed Conflict
Featuring: Paddy Dowling
Old Fulton and Furman St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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Location open 24 hours