Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – This year has brought a spate of grave violations against children in both protracted and new conflicts, UNICEF warned.
From Afghanistan to Yemen, and Syria to northern Ethiopia, thousands of children paid a devastating price as armed conflict, inter-communal violence, and insecurity continued. Just last week, at least four children were reportedly among the victims as at least 35 people were killed – including two Save the Children staff members – in Kayah State in Eastern Myanmar. This was just the latest high-profile example of the devastating toll conflict takes on children and the ongoing threats to humanitarian workers.
“Year after year, parties to conflict continue to demonstrate a dreadful disregard for the rights and wellbeing of children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children are suffering, and children are dying because of this callousness. Every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm.”
Whilst data for 2021 is not yet available, in 2020, 26,425 grave violations against children were verified by the UN. The first three months of 2021 saw a slight decrease in the overall number of verified grave violations, however, verified cases of abduction and sexual violence continued to rise at alarming rates – by more than 50 and 10 per cent, respectively – compared with the first quarter of the previous year.