Attacks Against Children Increased Sharply in 2017 

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Man carrying injured child after an airstrike in Syria/WC

In the course of 2017, attacks on children have reached alarming proportions in conflict zones around the world, denounces Thursday the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Nearly 700 children were killed during the first nine months of the year in Afghanistan, while in the Central African Republic, hundreds of children were killed, raped, abducted or recruited by armed groups, following the dramatic worsening of the situation , warns Unicef.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Kasai region, violence has driven 850,000 children out of their homes, and more than 200 health centers and 400 schools have been attacked.

In 2017, at least 135 children were also forced by Boko Haram to carry out suicide bombings, nearly five times more than in 2016, while children served as human shields in Iraq and Syria.

Rohingya children, victims or witnesses of horrendous violence, have also been victimized in Myanmar. 

In South Sudan, more than 19,000 children have also been recruited into armed groups, while more than 2,300 have been killed or wounded since December 2013. Finally, in the first 10 months of the year, 1,740 child recruitment cases have been reported. 

In addition, at least 5,000 children have died or been injured after nearly 1,000 days of fighting in Yemen.

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“Children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and violence at home, at school and on their playgrounds,” says Manuel Fontaine, director of emergency programs for Unicef. “As these attacks continue, year after year, we must not give in to indifference – this violence must not become the norm.”

The United Nations Children’s Fund calls on all parties of conflicts in the world to put an immediate end to violence against children and “targeting civil infrastructure, including schools and hospitals” .

Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.