A recent press release from theUnicef sound the alarm bell. Children are said to be "attacked on a shocking scale in conflicts across the world".
Lhe introductory sentence of the report could not be more explicit. "There are no more safe places for children because they are targeted in their homes, schools and playgrounds." Conflict stakeholders would ignore international laws aimed at protecting the most vulnerable during conflict.
“As these attacks continue year after year, we cannot go numb. Such brutality cannot be the new normal. "
In conflicts around the world, children have become frontline targets, used as human shields, killed, maimed and recruited to fight. Rape, forced marriage, kidnapping and enslavement have become standard tactics in conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar.
In some contexts, children abducted by extremist groups face further abuse when released by security forces. Millions more children pay an indirect price for these conflicts, suffering from malnutrition, disease and trauma, because basic services - including access to food, water, sanitation and health - are denied, damaged or destroyed.
Almost 700 children were killed in the first nine months of the year.
In the Central African Republic
Since the resumption of the fighting, children have been killed, raped, kidnapped, recruited into armed groups.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Kasai
850 children were driven from their homes. 000 health centers and 200 schools were attacked.
North-eastern Nigeria and Cameroon
Boko Haram forced 135 children to become suicide bombers, 5 times more than in 2016.
In Iraq and Syria
Children would be used as human shields and targeted by snipers. They are subjected to intense bombardment and violence.
Rohingya children have witnessed the shocking and widespread violence.
In South Sudan
19 children have been recruited into armed groups.
1 child recruitment cases for the first 740 months of 10.
11 million children are in need of humanitarian aid.
220 children live under the constant threat of landmines and explosive remnants of the conflict.
Under international law, children and civilian infrastructure should not be targeted.
Pray for children in conflict zones.
Image credit: Flickr / CC - Mark Reidy
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