Ten weeks into the war in Ukraine, UN humanitarians on Friday said that they were urgently ramping up efforts to provide vulnerable children with specialist and psychosocial support, amid “tremendous” mental health needs and ongoing dangers linked to the Russian invasion and sexual and gender-based violence.
Conflicts around the world are lasting longer and claiming more young lives, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said on Monday, as the agency reported that over this ‘deadly decade’, there has been a three-fold rise in verified attacks on children since 2010 – an average of 45 violations a day.
As children in many parts of the world return to school, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a haunting installation on Sunday that displays 3,758 school backpacks as headstones to illustrate the grave scale of child deaths in conflict in 2018 and call for greater protection of children living in conflict.
From killing and maiming, to recruitment, sexual abuse and abduction, “violence against children in armed conflict can take many forms”, said Secretary-General António Guterres, in a special message delivered at the launch of a new UN advocacy campaign on Tuesday - Act to Protect Children Affected by Conflict.
Reacting to a recent upsurge in violent attacks affecting children, Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, called on Friday for those responsible to be held fully accountable.