New UN website mobilizes action to protect war-affected children

25 September 2002

The United Nations today announced the launch of a new website aimed at calling attention to the plight of children affected by war and mobilizing action to protect them.

The United Nations today announced the launch of a new website aimed at calling attention to the plight of children affected by war and mobilizing action to protect them.

Created by the office of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, the site uses multimedia technology to provide comprehensive, detailed and easily accessible information on key issues.

The website’s statistics paint a harsh picture of conditions facing children in today’s strife-torn world. Over the last decade, 2 million children have been killed in conflict situations, over 1 million have been made orphans, over 6 million have been seriously injured or permanently disabled and over 10 million have been left with grave psychological trauma. A large number of children, especially young women, have been made the targets of rape and other forms of sexual violence as a deliberate instrument of war.

While confronting the ugly realities experienced by children caught up in combat, the site also offers hope in a section on progress achieved so far. For example, it notes that war crimes against children have been prosecuted and violations are now being reported more systematically, while warring factions have made concrete commitments to respecting children's rights and international humanitarian law.

 

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