Date Published: 5 February 2014
UN Secretary-General report Re. Children and armed conflict in Syrian Arab Republic
As the crisis in Syria continues, UNICEF has today (5 Feb) issued a statement about the UN Secretary General's first report about children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic.
The report describes some of the brutality and abuses suffered by children in this region in the last three years. It is particularly disturbing because it highlights the variety and extent of horrors inflected on children in the region, including:
- children being killed
- children being abducted
- children being arrested
- children being tortured
- children being mutilated
- children being sexually abused
- children being recruited by armed groups
- children being used as human shields
- schools being attacked and used for other purposes, and even
- hospitals being attacked and used for other purposes.
According to UNICEF, there are areas in which humanitarian access has been impeded or blocked, which increases the suffering an adverse effects on children and other civilians.
Humanitarian organizations are therefore likely to support the UN Secretary General's call 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. Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and is located in the north-west of the country, approx. 200 miles from Damascus.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said:
" 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."