Rising grave violence against children in conflict, war

Children's rights in conflict

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Children’s rights in conflict

A number of regions have been center of violence, conflict and war for centuries. Simultaneously, severe impacts of climate change have enormously increased plight of people living here. Along with Covid-19 pandemic, these people are also facing drought, water crunch, hunger and economic shocks. The most vulnerable of these communities remain their children, who become soft targets of predators and exploiters. Children of conflict zones have almost no human rights, or they have but they cannot use, they can never use.

Conflict zones are not the place of children, says United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, suggesting to not allow conflict squashing child rights. He referred the disregard for children’s rights during war and upheaval as “shocking and heartbreaking”. The UN chief urged all the stakeholders to take the prevention of violations against boys and girls as priority. Guterres called for a forever support for children protection from all the nations. The UN head presented the latest report on Children and Armed Conflict.

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Child victims of conflict and war

Hit by war and violence, over 19,300 boys and girls were victims of grave violations like recruitment or rape in 2020, says report. Further, experts miss out to reach these children during Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations stated in its annual report – Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC). These children suffered around 26,500 grave violations, an “alarmingly high” rate, the UN report said. Due to pandemic, their vulnerability to abduction, recruitment and sexual violence rose drastically. They also had to suffer attacks on schools and hospitals.

According to the UN report, these youngsters affected of war faced these grave violations last year in many countries, including Afghanistan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, reveals the UN report. The top violation remained recruitment and use of children in hostilities. Other violations like killing and maiming, and denial of humanitarian access followed. The report also revealed that some “new and deeply concerning trends emerged”. he rates of children abduction and sexual violence against boys and girls saw an exceptional rise in 2020.

Children’s rights in conflict zones

At schools and hospitals, attacks, loot, destroying or using them for military purposes became a frequent trend. Girls’ educational and health facilities became their targets disproportionately, Guterres informed. The report reveals the killing or maiming of over 8,400 youngsters in ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. Also, around 7,000 more were recruited and used in fighting, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Syria and Myanmar. The year saw an “exponential growth” in abductions, increasing by a staggering 90 percent in 2020, the researchers reported.

Moreover, a 70 percent rise occurred in rape and other forms of sexual violence last year. Girls made up 25 percent of all child victims of grave violations in the year. They mostly faced rape and other forms of sexual violence, comprising 98 per cent of victims. That followed killing and maiming, said the report. Millions of boys and girls lost their childhood due to wars of adults in 2020, said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on CAAC Virginia Gamba. This is totally distressing not only for these children but also to the entire community they belong to. This also demolishes chances for a sustainable peace, she added.

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