Friday, September 22, 2023
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UN urges to enhance protection of children, prevent grave violations

United Nations, Jun 4 (Prensa Latina) The UN International Day of Innocent Child Victims of Aggression calls to stop attacks on minors, particularly in countries with high rates of violence and armed conflicts.

Figures released in 2022 by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirmed the surge every year in the number of violations of children affected by wars.

According to the UNICEF report ¨25 Years of Children and Armed Conflict¨, at least 104,100 children have been killed or maimed. More than two-thirds of these have been between 2014 and 2020, with an average of 10,500 children killed or maimed each year.

At least 93,000 have been recruited by armed actors. Between 2016 – 2020, the UN verified the recruitment and use of an average of 8,756 children annually (8,521 in 2020).

Over 25,700 children have been abducted. Two-thirds of the cases over the past 16 years have occurred between 2014 – 2020, with an annual average of 2,414 (3,202 in 2020).

Boys account for three-quarters, however, girls remain at risk of being abducted including for the purpose of sexual violence and exploitation.

More than 14,200 children have been subjected to rape and other sexual violence. The annual average is 890 child victims, with the highest record standing at 1,268 in 2020. This, however, is not reflective of the actual scale. Cases of sexual violence, including sexual violence against boys, are particularly underreported. Sexual violence disproportionately affects girls, who were victims in 97% of cases in the last 5 years.

Wars cause multiple additional depravations including hunger, disease, and poverty. UNICEF’s report confirms that every year the number of verified violations for children who are impacted by wars continues to increase. Each of these numbers represents a grave tragedy for a child, a family, a community. This is a call to STOP attacks on children.


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