Conflicts & War

More than 300,000 grave violations against children in 18 years of conflicts: Unicef

United Nations, June 4 (EFE).- Unicef has verified around 315,000 grave violations against children in conflicts – from murders to sexual assaults, abductions to recruitment by armed groups – since 2005, it said in a report on Sunday.

The United Nations children’s agency released its findings ahead of the Conference on Protecting Children in Armed Conflict being held in Oslo Monday and Tuesday.

“Exposure to conflict has catastrophic, life-changing effects for children. While we know what must be done to protect children from war, the world is not doing enough,” Unicef Executive Director Catherine Russell said.

The serious violations documented by Unicef are spread over more than 30 conflicts around the world over the last 18 years and include more than 120,000 children killed or maimed, at least 105,000 recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups, more than 32,500 abducted and more than 16,000 subjected to sexual violence.

The agency emphasizes that these are only verified cases, so the real figures are expected to be much higher.

Looking ahead to the Oslo meetings, Unicef called on governments for new commitments to uphold existing international laws to protect children, for example stopping the use of explosive weapons in urban areas, stopping the recruitment and use of children by armed groups and safeguarding schools and hospitals.

It also demands guarantees to hold those responsible for violations to account and more funding for programs dedicated to the protection of minors in conflict.

According to an analysis cited by Unicef, the child protection area will need $1.05 billion, increasing to $1.37 billion by 2026, to address the protection needs of children in armed conflict. EFE


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