This is one of the key findings of a new report titled: 25 years of children and armed conflict: taking action to protect children in warlaunched by the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, on Tuesday.
UNICEF’s report describes in the starkest terms the world’s failure to protect its children from grave violations in times of armed conflict. https://t.co/WAAqxbYjFy
— Catherine Russell (@unicefchief) June 28, 2022
Speaking at a press conference at the UN in Geneva, Tasha Gill, UNICEF’s senior adviser on child protection in emergencies, said the organization had verified a total of more than 250,000 serious violations against children at its 30 sites between 2005 and 2020.
†This is a staggering average of 71 serious violations against children daily,” she told reporters.
The report analyzes 16 years of data on serious human rights violations against children in conflict situations to show the impact of armed conflict on children around the world.
Ms Gill emphasized that in the time frame surveyed, “82 percent of all verified child victims occurred in” only five locations”: Afghanistan, Israel and the State of Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
The report examines how involvement with conflicting parties – both state and non-state actors – makes it possible to end and prevent violations of children’s rights.
According to Ms Gill, “our analysis shows that: despite decades of advocacy with conflicting parties and those who influence them – as well as improved monitoring, reporting and documentation of serious violations of rights – children continue to be victims of war†
“Every day, girls and boys living in conflict zones experience unspeakable horrors that no one should experience.”
In the period from 2005 to 2020, UNICEF found that more than 104,000 children were verified as killed or mutilatedmore than 93,000 children have been verified as recruited and used by conflict parties and at least 25,700 have been verified as abducted by conflict parties.
“To give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem, in one decade alone – from 2010 to 2020, there was a 185% increase in verified serious child rights violations against children in conflict,” said UNICEF’s Senior Advisor on Child. Emergency protection.
She added that “it is also important to note that many children experience more than one violation, increasing their vulnerability. For example, kidnapping often involves or leads to other offenses such as recruitment and use and sexual assault.”
The efforts of UNICEF staff, other UN and partner organizations to collect and verify information about serious violations to better understand and respond to children’s needs, has produced positive results†
Since 2000, at least 170,000 children have been released from the armed forces, many of whom have survived multiple abuses, including kidnapping or sexual assault.
“While we complain or criticize all members of war parties to conflict for failing to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, we also believe that the international community at large can do more to protect children in conflictsaid Mrs Gill.