LONDON | A record number of children living in the conflict zone, according to the british NGO child protection Save the children, which calls on governments to take more action to protect them from the effects of war and serious violence.
In a report published Thursday, the association points out that children are increasingly exposed to the risk of being killed or injured, but also to be recruited by armed groups and of being sexually exploited.
“It is amazing that the world remains without action while children are targeted with impunity,” said the director general of the association, Inger Ashing, in a press release.
“Since 2005, there has been at least 95, 000 children killed or maimed, tens of thousands of abducted children, millions of children without access to education or health care after hospitals have been attacked”. The “destruction of children’s lives” will continue if nothing is done, dénonce-t-it.
According to the report, one in six children in the world, is 415 million, were living in a conflict zone by 2018, a figure that has doubled since 1995. The “serious violations” of their rights have increased by 170% since 2010, according to the report.
The children of Africa are the most affected in number, 170 million of them live in the conflict zone. The largest proportion is found in the Middle East, with one in three children affected.
By country, Afghanistan, central african Republic, democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Mali are countries where the situation is the worst.
For the first time, the NGO has analyzed the different threats to which are subject the children according to their sex. “The girls are much more exposed to the risks of sexual violence and gender-based violence, from childhood, including forced marriages”, underlines the study. Boys are more at risk of being killed, maimed, abducted, and taken.
Among the testimonies, that of Samira, a young girl yezidi from Iraq, the mother of a child of two years.
She was abducted with his mother and sisters in 2016, kept in captivity and sold to at least three people who were beaten and sexually assaulted.
She was then married by force with the fighter of the group, the islamic State and after the birth of her baby had to leave her child to the authorities in Syria.
“I would prefer to stay enslaved and to live in camps all my life rather than letting my child”, she declared to the association.