October 24, 2021

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UN calls for prevention of child abuse in conflict situations

More than 12,000 children were killed or maimed in the wake of the 2018 armed conflict. Photo: A.P.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres on Monday called for the prevention of child abuse in conflict situations, while calling for extra protection for these vulnerable people.

When he intervened in the Security Council’s virtual open debate on children and armed conflict, the minister presented his most recent report on the matter, describing it as dark.

He noted that ignoring the rights of minors in times of conflict and turmoil is shocking and heartbreaking.

By 2020, nearly 24,000 serious violations were committed against 19,300 children in 21 situations under that UN mandate.

He noted that the inclusion and use of children in hostilities is one of the primary violations, followed by killings and mutilations and denial of humanitarian access.

“In addition, new and deeper concerns have emerged: a rapid increase in the number of abducted children and sexual violence against girls.”

Further Schools and hospitals continue to be attacked, looted, destroyed or used for military purposes, and educational and health facilities for girls are randomly attacked., He warned.

The UN Secretary-General stressed that the conflict is devastating to communities and affects children particularly severely, and that the beginning of 2021 is no exception.

The COVID-19 epidemic brought new challenges and tensions in the task of protecting children living in war situations.He stressed the need to fund Portuguese diplomats and child protection positions on the ground.

He stressed that as armed conflict develops and minors face many threats, the structure for their protection must also be changed. In this sense, it is urgent to raise the voice of children and their best interests in peace processes and decision making.

The UN Secretary General said that children have no place in wars and that we should not allow conflicts to trample on their rights.

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According to a United Nations report, the epidemic has turned schools into easy targets for occupation and military use, with an increase in these cases over the past year, while such centers have been temporarily closed in the wake of the health crisis.

Faced with such a situation, UN officials emphasize the need to ensure resources for the protection of children in the event of serious child abuse, In view of the numerous setbacks in the democratic process and the escalation of violence between the parties in conflict.

(With information by Brenza Latina)