Violence involving children in conflicts has taken a darker turn — UNICEF
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1612
NEW YORK, 24 July 2015 – “Millions of children around the world today are caught up in adults’ wars – deliberately killed, injured, raped, abducted. Their schools and homes are being destroyed; they are being denied food, water and health care. Tens of thousands are forced to join armed forces and groups.
“Ten years ago the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1612, to better protect children affected by conflict. Today, enormous efforts are being made to protect children in countries at war. Last year, more than 10,000 children were released from armed forces and groups worldwide, and received support returning to their communities.
“But violence involving children in conflicts has taken a darker turn.
“Reports from Iraq, Nigeria and Syria have shown us how children are being used by adults as perpetrators of extreme violence – children who have been forced to observe and participate in executions, encouraged to believe that violence is normal, their young and impressionable minds exposed to senseless brutality, in total disregard of the sanctity of childhood.
“Every child in a conflict who is killed or forced to kill, or who has witnessed the brutality of war, is a victim. An innocent who has borne the cost of conflict not of her or his making.
“We should be outraged that such suffering continues and that more is not being done to end these horrors and to hold those responsible to account.”