The United Nations says the world failed to prevent grave violations against children during armed conflicts last year.
This comes after the United Nations Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict said over 25,000 grave violations against children were verified, which remains similar to 2018.
This translates into some 70 recorded cases of abuse per day.
Launched on Monday, the report highlighted how children suffered from being denied humanitarian access to experiencing sexual-related violence in conflict.
The document spotlighted Yemen, Mali, the Central African Republic, Syria, Israel, and Palestine as the most worrying situations.
South Sudan featured in the category of rape and other forms of sexual violence, which the report said continued to be vastly underreported.
With 735 verified reports globally, cases were prevalent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, the Central African Republic, the Sudan, and South Sudan.
The UN says cases attributed to State actors nearly doubled, reinforcing the fear of retaliation and of stigma for children and families willing to report sexual violence.
The report also revealed a shocking 400 percent jump in the denial of humanitarian access to children last year with 4,400 verified incidents.
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba said “parties to conflict often neglect to protect children in the conduct of hostilities and deny them the vital aid they desperately need.”
“Boys and girls used and abused in armed conflict have had their childhoods replaced by pain, brutality, and fear while the world watches,” said Ms. Gamba. “By violating the rules of war, parties endanger their own children.”
Ms. Gamba called on all UN Member States to support the work of child protection actors in the field.
The report further maintained that sexual violence, including rape, gang rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage, remains a tactic of war and a taboo subject, disproportionately affecting girls.
The adoption of strong legislation is essential to ending such practices, the report added.
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Published Thursday, July 2, 2020
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