KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than 28,000 children have died in Afghanistan conflicts since 2005.
“Afghanistan, for example, has had an unprecedented number of confirmed child casualties since 2005 – exceeding 28,500 – accounting for 27 percent of all child casualties around the world,” according to the organization.
Children have paid a devastating price in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and northern Ethiopia due to armed conflict, inter-communal violence, and insecurity, UNICEF says.
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said that “Year after year, parties to conflict continue to demonstrate a dreadful disregard for the rights and wellbeing of children.”
“Children are suffering, and children are dying because of this callousness. Every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm.”
The UN estimates that it has verified 266,000 cases of grave violations against children in countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America over the past 16 years.
UN-led mechanisms are only responsible for verifying these cases, which means the real figure may be much higher.
UNICEF reports that there is no information yet available about grave violations against children in 2021. However, in 2020, 26,425 such violations were reported.
“All conflict parties” have been urged by UNICEF to take concrete steps to protect children.
“Children living through wars can only be protected if parties to a conflict take tangible measures to protect them and stop committing grave violations,” Fore said.
“… I urge all parties to conflict to end attacks against children, uphold their rights and strive for peaceful resolutions to conflicts.”