UNICEF warns violations against children’s rights are on the rise

By Legal Wires 3 Minutes Read

UNICEF (United Nation Children’s Fund) has warned of grave violations over surging numbers of child casualties amid armed conflicts. “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,” the organization said in a statement.

UNICEF reported that in conflicts around the world, grave violations of children’s rights include killing and maiming children, recruiting child soldiers, sexual violence, attacking educational and medical facilities, abduction, and blocking humanitarian aid.

The organization reported that in 2021, “a spate of grave violations against children in both protracted and new conflicts” occurred. In 2020, the United Nations confirmed 26,425 such violations. UNICEF reported that some children are subjected to multiple grave violations. In the first quarter of 2021, the abduction of children and sexual violence increased.

Since reporting and verification of grave violations against children began in 2005, some 266,000 grave violations have been confirmed, though UNICEF estimates that the true volume of grave violations is even larger. Regions experiencing armed conflicts, such as parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, were found to have particularly high volumes of grave violations. Children in Somalia and Yemen were among the most affected. Afghanistan’s child abduction statistics have consistently been the largest since reporting began.

The use of explosive weapons, particularly in populated areas, has become a persistent and growing threat to children and their families. “In 2020, explosive weapons and explosive remnants of war were responsible for nearly 50 per cent of all child casualties, resulting in more than 3,900 children killed and maimed.”

UNICEF denounced the grave violations perpetrated against children. The organization encouraged “all parties to conflict” to take immediate action to better protect children in countries experiencing armed conflict from harm.

Legal Wires

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