Children in Conflict: Protecting Innocence Amidst Grave Violations

Source The United Nations


Media – Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, delivers a compelling briefing to the Security Council. Gamba emphasizes that noone should forget that behind every verified violation is the child’s life, each with its own story.

Addressing the Security Council, Gamba highlights the sobering statistics revealed in the Secretary-General’s annual report. In 2022 alone, there were 27,800 verified violations against 18,890 children, including killings, maimings, recruitment, abductions, and sexual violence. Shockingly, attacks on schools and hospitals saw a staggering 112 percent increase compared to the previous year, with half of these perpetrated by government forces. Furthermore, there was a 60 percent rise in the use of these vital institutions for military purposes.

Gamba emphasizes the dire consequences of denying humanitarian access to children, as incidents of violence against aid workers and looting of supplies continue to hinder relief efforts. She stresses that in conflict-ridden areas where protection, education, healthcare, and essential services are disrupted, humanitarian assistance becomes the only hope for children and communities.

While recognizing some positive developments in Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and other conflict zones, where action plans and commitments have been made to protect children, Gamba calls for increased support and financing for protection and reintegration programs. She urges the adoption of a universal definition of a child as anyone under 18, as well as sustained efforts to preserve and strengthen the monitoring and reporting mechanism.

Join us in watching this crucial briefing to understand the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for collective action to safeguard the lives and futures of children affected by armed conflict. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that no child’s story goes untold.

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