Unicef denounced this Sunday that in the last decade more than 170,000 cases of violations of children’s rights have been found in conflict scenarios, and that the number of countries at war is the largest that has been registered since 1989, when the Convention was approved on the Rights of the Child.
“Throughout the world, conflicts are increasingly prolonged, causing greater killings and more lives among the youngest,” said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore, in a statement.
“The attacks on children do not stop and the contestants make fun of one of the most basic rules of war: to guarantee the protection of children,” Fore added.
The 170,000 cases represent an average of 45 human rights violations per day in the last 10 years because children in dozens of conflict zones are the targets of murder, mutilation and forced displacement.
Specifically, in 2018, the UN documented more than 24,000 human rights violations, more than double that in 2010, including murders, mutilations, sexual violence, kidnappings, denial of humanitarian access, forced recruitment and attacks on schools and hospitals.
Of the 24,000 cases, more than half were murders or mutilations of children, due to the continuous and widespread use of air raids and explosive weapons such as landmines, mortars, improvised explosive devices, cluster munitions and artillery bombardments.
In the case of 2019, more than 10,000 cases of human rights violations were documented in the first half of the year, although UNICEF points out that the figure may be higher given all the conflicts that have escalated.
UNICEF highlighted several risk situations, and recalled that in May, the organization asked governments to repatriate children who had been trapped in camps or detention centers in northeastern Syria, with more than 28,000 foreign children from 60 affected countries, 20,000 of them from Iraq.
He also stressed that in March, more than 150 people, including 85 children, were killed when an armed group attacked the village of Ogossagou in the Mopti region, in central Mali, while another attack in Sobanou-Kou caused 24 new child victims
In addition, he noted that in September UNICEF reported that 2 million children still do not attend school in Yemen, including almost half a million who dropped out since the conflict intensified in March 2015.
In November, the organization revealed that three years of violence and instability in the northwestern and southwestern regions of Cameroon have left more than 855,000 children out of school and displaced 59,000 adolescents.
That is why UNICEF urges “all belligerent factions to fulfill their obligations under international law and put an immediate end to all violations against the rights of children.”
He also requested that they stop “using civil infrastructure as a goal, including schools, hospitals and water facilities.”