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UNICEF: 'Deadly decade' for children in conflict

December 30, 2019

The United Nations has documented 170,000 grave violations against children over the past decade. Millions more have lost their childhood and future through conflict.

Child soldiers in Yemen in an archive picture from 2015
Image: Getty Images/AFP/S. Al-Obeidi

Millions of children across the world are entering a new decade facing the devastating consequences of violence in conflict zones, UNICEF said on Monday.

The United Nations' children's agency has documented 170,000 grave violations against minors since 2010, including killing, maiming, abduction, sexual violence and recruitment into armed groups. 

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From Afghanistan and Mali to Syria and Yemen, conflicts are costing millions of children their health, education, future and lives, UNICEF said.

Read moreAttacks on Afghan schools nearly triple, warns UNICEF

"Conflicts around the world are lasting longer, causing more bloodshed and claiming more young lives," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. "Attacks on children continue unabated as warring parties flout one of the most basic rules of war: the protection of children," she added, noting that many acts of violence against children went unreported.

UNICEF also noted that the number of countries suffering from conflict is the highest in three decades.

"Armed conflicts are devastating for everyone, but they are particularly brutal for children," it said

cw/se (AFP, dpa)

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