UNICEF: 657 children killed in 9 months in Syria
Children continue to pay a deadly price as conflicts rage around the world, UNICEF confirmed. Since the start of the decade, the United Nations has verified more than 170,000 grave violations against children in conflict – the equivalent of more than 45 violations every day for the last 10 years.
In a single weekend in August, 44 civilians were reportedly killed due to air strikes in northwest Syria, including 16 children and 12 women, UNICEF added.
In May, UNICEF called on Governments to repatriate children who are their nationals or born to their nationals and who were stranded in camps and detention centres in northeast Syria. Nearly 28,000 foreign children from more than 60 different countries, including almost 20,000 from Iraq, remain trapped in the northeast. In the same month, there were reports of children killed and injured in an escalation of violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar.
In January, violence, displacement and extremely harsh winter conditions in northern and eastern Syria killed at least 32 children.
The number of countries experiencing conflict is the highest it has been since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, with dozens of violent armed conflicts killing and maiming children and forcing them from their homes.
More than 12,000 children were killed or maimed in 2018. Continued, widespread use of airstrikes and explosive weapons such as landmines, mortars, improvised explosive devices, rocket attacks, cluster munitions and artillery shelling cause the vast majority of child casualties in armed conflict.
Attacks and violence against children have not let up throughout 2019. During the first half of the year, the UN has verified over 10,000 such violations against children – although actual numbers are likely to be much higher.
In its latest report released to mark the UN’s annual Universal Children’s Day, SNHR revealed in November that at least 29,017 children have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the popular uprising for democracy.
SNHR report documents the deaths of 22,753 children by Assad regime militias between March 2011 and November 20, 2019, including 186 who suffocated to death as a result of chemical attacks.
SNHR report also notes that Russian forces have killed 1,928 children since the start of Russia’s military intervention in Syria, including 67 children who were killed as a result of 236 cluster munitions attacks.