Scale of attacks on children in 2017 is shocking

  • Scale of attacks on children in 2017 is shocking

Scale of attacks on children in 2017 is shocking

"It's something that we can not allow to become the new normal", Morley added.

In Syria and Iraq, children were used as human shields and targeted by snipers regularly this year, and at least 625 children died in Syria in 2016.

According to analysis by UNICEF from earlier this year, almost one in five children in the Middle East and North Africa are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance becaause of wars raging across the region.

A UNICEF report found that in conflict-ridden regions across the world, high numbers of children had been killed, used as human shields and recruited to fight. "Such brutality can not be the new normal", he continued.

"Children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds", said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef's director of emergency programmes.

UNICEF has warned today that young people have come under attack at a shocking scale throughout the past 12 months, with parties to conflicts blatantly disregarding worldwide laws created to protect the most vulnerable.

In Afghanistan, nearly 700 children were killed in the first nine months of the year. It notes a dramatic increase in violence in Central African Republic has led to children being killed, raped, abducted and recruited by armed groups.

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In South Sudan, more than 19,000 children have been recruited into armed forces, and over 2,300 children have been killed or injured since December 2013.

Children account for more than half of the 655,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in western Myanmar since August 2017.

In eastern Ukraine, 220,000 children lived under constant threat of mines and explosives near the 500-kilometer "contact line"- one of the most mine-contaminated places on earth.

2017 has been a "nightmare year" for children caught in the crosshairs of conflict, the UN's agency for children has said.

The agency warned that millions more children were paying an indirect price for conflicts, suffering from malnutrition, disease and trauma as basic services, including access to food, water, sanitation and health.

The assessment is from UNICEF, which promotes the rights and wellbeing of children around the world, working in 190 countries and territories.

The agency accused rival parties in conflict areas of "blatantly" disregarding worldwide laws created to protect the most vulnerable.