Accessibility links

Breaking News

Protecting Children Caught in Armed Conflicts

(FILE) Children that fled areas of confict ride a vehicle, north of Raqqa city, Syria.

“Children around the world deserve to feel safe, to receive an education, to have a future,” said Ambassador DeLaurentis.

Protecting Children Caught in Armed Conflicts
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:03:41 0:00

“It is clear we have not done nearly enough to protect children from the impacts of conflict,” declared Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Acting U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations.

This year’s report on Children and Armed Conflict provides a sobering snapshot of how conflict has harmed children, said Ambassador DeLaurentis:

“In 2022, the United Nations reported more than 27,180 instances of the six grave violations against children, including more than 8,600 children killed or maimed. We are deeply saddened by this staggering number. We are encouraged by the outcome of engagement with parties to conflict, which resulted in the release of 12,460 children from armed groups and armed forces, and hope for more steps that will make children’s lives better.”

Nevertheless, too many children have been subjected to sexual violence, abducted, and denied humanitarian aid, said Ambassador DeLaurentis:

“In Sudan, there are reports of children who have been forced from their homes, and in some cases separated from their families or subjected to sexual violence. Armed groups remain the main perpetrators of abuses against children in Colombia, where the forcible recruitment or use of children remains of prevalent concern – particularly for Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities in rural areas.

In Afghanistan, the ban on girls’ access to education beyond primary school, patterns of early and forced marriage, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers have been detrimental to the physical and emotional well-being of youth.

In Ukraine, members of Russia’s forces have committed execution-style killings of Ukrainian men, women, and children, and alongside other Russian officials, have deported hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia, including children who have been forcibly separated from their families.

“This stark reality,” said Ambassador DeLaurentis, “serves as a poignant reminder of the urgency and necessity of strengthening the international community’s child protection capacities, and for the crucial need for all states to respect international law and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.”

“Children around the world deserve to feel safe, to receive an education, to have a future,” stressed Ambassador DeLaurentis. “When we take steps to protect children, we are safeguarding our collective future and helping to end enduring conflicts.”