Swedish children worried about war

The new cold war

Published 13 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Children suffer when adults talk about war.

After Monday’s warning of war from Sweden’s Commander-in-Chief Micael Bydén, more children have contacted the children’s rights organization BRIS in fear of war. Bris now sees a need for information about war that is child-friendly and aimed directly at children.

In an interview with TV4 News, Bydén described the world situation as “serious” and said that Swedes should be “mentally prepared” for war. Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin (M) also delivered a similar message, calling for “total resilience”.

The statements have been widely circulated on social media and have resulted in more children than usual calling Bris with concerns about war. Magnus Jägerskog, Secretary General of BRIS, believes that many children are already suffering from anxiety after several major world events in recent years.

– For children who are prone to anxiety or already worried about war, it became difficult when they saw social media posts and heard adults on the news talking about war, he says in a press release.

Safe adults important

Children often ask questions such as what will happen if there is a war and how great the risk is. Bris sees a great need for child-friendly information about war.

– When it comes to difficult issues such as war, it is especially important that adults make sure they are there to inform children, says Jägerskog.

In November last year, Bris published its annual Municipal Survey, in which municipalities can rate how well they fulfill children’s rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It showed that only 23% of Sweden’s municipalities have procedures and methods to ensure children’s rights in activities such as crisis preparedness and civil protection. When it comes to involving children in crisis preparedness and civil protection, only 12 percent of municipalities report that they have structured working methods for this.

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