Article Details

Conflicts and Violence Take 'Huge Toll' On Children in 2015

Categories: Articles:Peacemaking, Articles:Human Rights | Published: 19/02/2016 | Views: 2014
Increasingly complex and widening conflicts have taken a huge toll on children in much of the Middle East in 2015, with parts of Africa and Asia facing protracted and relapsing wars that show no signs of abating, a senior United Nations child rights official said Monday 15th February 2016. Describing in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council how extreme violence affected countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, stressed that groups perpetrating extreme violence particularly targeted children.

“Children were disproportionately affected, displaced and often the direct targets of acts of violence intended to cause maximum civilian casualties and terrorize entire communities,” Ms. Zerrougui said in the report, which covers the period from December 2014 to December 2015. The report also found that military responses targeting groups using tactics of extreme violence continued to generate additional protection challenges for children. Throughout the year, militias and vigilante groups allied with States used children in support roles or as combatants. The use of airstrikes was also of particular concern due, in many instances, to their indiscriminate nature. The Special Representative noted that respect for human rights must be the basis of an effective response to extreme violence and actions must be undertaken in full compliance with international, humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.        Read more: UN News Centre, 15/02/2016

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