Child rights must be at the centre of Syria peace talks – UNICEF

24 March 2017

Those participating the intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva must put the rights of children at the centre of all their deliberations as children throughout the Middle Eastern country continue to come under attack, a senior United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) official has said.

“Those meeting in Geneva this week should put the rights of children at the centre of all their deliberations – the right of every boy and girl to be protected, the right to receive life-saving humanitarian assistance no matter where they are and the right to an education,” UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere said in a said issued yesterday, ahead of the resumption of the Geneva talks.

Citing reports that Wednesday's attack on a school in Ar-Raqqa which is sheltering internally displaced families has killed 53 civilians including 12 children, he said the international community once again failed the children of Syria. “We have been failing them for more than 2,200 days already,” he added.

We have been failing them for more than 2,200 days already

“UNICEF reminds all parties engaged militarily in Syria that it is their responsibility to protect and safeguard the lives of children and their families. Civilian infrastructure including schools and hospitals should be protected, no matter who controls the area,” Mr. Cappelaere said.

He said that children are being deprived of their basic right to life and denied their right to an education.

“All parties to the conflict and those with influence must redouble their efforts to find a political solution to end a conflict that is leaving nothing but death and destruction in its path,” he said.

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.