NEW YORK, 5 February 2014 – The first report of the UN Secretary General on children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic provides a chilling account of the brutality and abuses that children have suffered for nearly three years, and a clear reminder of why this horrific conflict must end.
Children have been killed, arrested, abducted, tortured, mutilated, sexually abused, and recruited by armed groups; children have been used as human shields; schools and hospitals have been attacked and used for other purposes. Humanitarian access has been blocked and impeded, deepening the suffering of children and civilians.
The grave violations against children cited in the report demand a response. UNICEF joins the Secretary General in calling for an immediate end to the targeting of innocent children and civilians, including the use of weapons that cause indiscriminate and disproportionate harm, such as those employed in a deadly wave of attacks across Aleppo this week.
In a meeting of the UNICEF Executive Board today, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that all those involved in the conflict and those who have influence over them have an obligation to do everything possible to protect children from violence – violence that is not of children’s making, and in which they should play no part.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For further information, please contact:
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: + 1 212 326 7448
Juliette Touma, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, email@example.com, mob: +962 79 867 4628