Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Worst Year Yet For Children In Syria's Civil War

This frame grab from a video provided by the Syria Democratic Forces This frame grab from a video provided by the Syria Democratic Forces
Saul Franklin | 16 March, 2017, 00:45

The agency said that the 652 children killed represents a 20 percent rise from 2015, with the statistics showing that 255 of those children were killed in or near a school.

According to the report, some 12,600 kids crossed active conflict lines in Syria to sit for their final school exams, many traveling for days from hard-to-reach areas.

"Targeting of health facilities and health staff increased sharply in 2016, killing and injuring hundreds of medical personnel and civilians", Bachir Tajaldin, an internist in Syria, said in the UNICEF report. Children are recruited as fighters on the frontline, and in the previous year increasingly as executioners, suicide bombers or prison guards. "Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down".

"Verified instances of killing, maiming, and recruitment of children increased sharply a year ago in a drastic escalation of violence across the country", the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said in a report published March 13.

It has labelled the depth of suffering "unprecedented", adding that "Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being and future".

There were 87 attacks on schools or education personnel a year ago, and 225 children were killed at or near school. More than 1.7 million children are out of school, and one in three schools have been either destroyed or repurposed to shelter displaced families or to serve the military.

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UNICEF warned that social and medical services are continuing to deteriorate, forcing many children into "child labor, early marriage, and combat".

There are 2.8 million children in hard-to-reach areas, "including 280,000 children living under siege, nearly completely cut off from humanitarian aid", UNICEF reported.

After six years of war, almost six million children now depend on humanitarian assistance, a twelve-fold increase from 2012.

UNICEF noted that it can not assess the "full scale of children's suffering" due to limited access to parts of Syria. I wish for the war to end and for wars all over the world to end.

She told the Press Association: "2016 has been the worst for the children of Syria".

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