Around 27 million of children in war zones have been forced out of school. UNICEF released an alarming report which shows a surge of attacks and violence against children in war zones in 2017, while all the groups in conflicts ignored international laws designed to protect the most vulnerable.
“Children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes. “As these attacks continue year after year, we cannot become numb. Such brutality cannot be the new normal.”
Children have been abused by extremist groups in every possible way, including abduction, enslavement, child marriages, raping. Furthermore, the children are being used as weapons of war on the battlefields, often as human shields or suicide bombers.
Those children are located in major conflicts in Africa and Middle East, and often in these countries is difficult to access to food or other basic needs, and many child are suffering malnutrition.
In 2016 the United Nations documented assaults on hundred of schools and universities, which are being used as barracks, centers of interrogation, weapons depots by troops in conflict countries. In 2015 a document known as Safe Schools Declaration, developed with the help of foreign ministries, defence and education officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross, was presented in an international conference in Oslo with the objective to help victims of those attacks. Many countries signed the document, although important U.N. Security Council’s members as USA, China, UK and Russia refused to cooperate.
In early December, the ACAPS released a report containing alarming prediction for many humanitarian crisis going on, and “violence and insecurity are likely to deteriorate in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia and Syria next year“.
In Yemen, where there’s a devastating civil war on since 2015, the United Nations recorder over 13.000 casualties, with 1.300 children among the dead. In a recent report, Save the Children “highlights how the targeting of medical facilities and personnel in 2015 and 2016 has had devastating impacts on children’s health”. The country is experiencing the worst cholera outbreak of modern history, with a million cases expected by the end of 2017 and at least 600,000 children likely to be affected.