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27.06.2018

Annual Report: Children Faced with Unspeakable Violence in Conflict as Number of Grave Violations Increased in 2017

Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC)

On 17 May 2018 in Pibor, South Sudan, 210 children were formally released from armed groups. The children released today included three girls and largely came from the opposition group the SPLA-IO, with eight having been associated with the National Salvation Front (NSF). © UNICEF/UN0209623/Chol

The number of children affected by armed conflict and the severity of grave violations affecting them increased in the past year, concludes the annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict released today.

“The report details the unspeakable violence children have been faced with, and shows how in too many conflict situations, parties to conflict have an utter disregard for any measures that could contribute to shielding the most vulnerable from the impact of war,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, declared.

Over 21,000 grave violations of children’s rights have been verified by the United Nations from January to December 2017, an unacceptable increase from previous years (15,500 in 2016).

The crises unfolding in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen brought about serious increases in verified grave violations. In Syria, children have suffered the highest number of verified violations ever recorded in the country. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, crises in the Kasais led to an eightfold increase of attacks on schools and hospitals (515). In a despicable trend, almost half of the 881 verified child casualties in Nigeria resulted from suicide attacks, including the use of children as human bombs.

Over 10,000 children were killed or maimed in 2017 with numbers growing substantially in Iraq and Myanmar, while remaining unacceptably high in Afghanistan and Syria.

“When your own house or your school can be attacked without qualms, when traditional safe-havens become targets, how can boys and girls escape the brutality of war?,” Virginia Gamba, declared. “This shows a blatant disregard for international law by parties to conflict, making civilians, especially children, increasingly vulnerable to violence, use and abuse,” she added. (...)

To read the whole report: http://undocs.org/s/2018/465

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