(The Guardian) – One thing I know from my 30 years spent reporting in war zones is that in modern armed conflict it is the children who are exceptionally vulnerable. They lack the means of self-defence or escape. Many are orphans. Some are recruited as child soldiers. And when they are demobilised they are all too often re-recruited. Figures released this week by the UN children’s fund, Unicef, show nearly a quarter of the world’s school-aged children – about 462 million – now live in countries affected by crisis. Their childhoods are being stolen from them.