Number of children affected by armed conflict increases: Report

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An annual UN Secretary General’s Report has found that the number of children affected by armed conflict and the severity of violations against them has increased in the past year.

Over 21 000 grave violations of children’s rights have been verified by the UN between January an December 2017 in what the report on Children and Armed Conflict calls an unacceptable increase from the previous years.

In 2017, there were 21 000 violations up from 15 500 in 2016 as crises unfolding in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen contributed to the escalation.

Children in Syria have suffered the highest number of violations ever recorded in the country while the crises in the Kasai region of the DRC has led to an eightfold increase of attacks on schools and hospitals.

Calling it a despicable trend, the report says almost half of the 881 verified child casualties in Nigeria resulted from suicide attacks including the use of children as human bombs.

Over 10 000 children were killed or maimed in 2017 with numbers growing substantially in Iraq and Myanmar while remaining unacceptably high in Afghanistan and Syria.