According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the end of the decade was the bloodiest for children, the UN press service reported.
“The year 2019 marks the end of a decade that has become “bloodiest” for the youngest inhabitants of the planet: since 2010, 170 thousand crimes against children have been committed in the world – an average of 45 per day. This is almost three times more than in the previous ten years. We are only talking about the data confirmed by the UN, the real figures could be even higher,” the UN said on Tuesday.
UNICEF, summing up 2019 and the outgoing decade, pointed out that children are the main victims of wars that are raging around the world.
“The number of ongoing armed conflicts today is the highest since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989. Violence kills and maims minors, forcing them to move from place to place without a permanent roof over their heads,” says UNICEF.
Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund Henrietta For noted that “conflicts today last longer than before and lead to bloodshed and death of children”.
“Children are constantly being attacked because belligerents are violating the main rule of warfare – the need to protect them. Not every crime is made public, many of them are silenced. In 2018 alone the UN managed to confirm 24 thousand violations of children’s rights, including murder, injury, sexual violence, abduction, denial of humanitarian access, involvement in hostilities, as well as attacks on schools and hospitals,” said the head of UNICEF.
According to her, over the past years it has been possible to improve data collection methods, but the sharp increase in indicators is not only related to this: the number of crimes against children has increased two and a half times compared to 2010.
“In 2018, 12 thousand minors were killed or maimed. Most of the incidents are related to air raids and the use of explosive devices such as mines and grenades. In 2019, the situation has not improved at all: 10 thousand violations against children were recorded in the first six months alone,” said For.
UNICEF called on belligerents to fulfil their obligations under international law to stop violations against minors and stop attacks on civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and water lines.
“The UN also asks countries that have influence on the parties to conflicts to use their authority and ensure the protection of children. For its part, the UN Children’s Fund in cooperation with partners around the world continues to provide assistance to children belonging to the most vulnerable categories of the population,” it was reported.