Hospitals and schools declared safe havens for children

Anthony Lake

Hospitals and schools have been declared safe havens by the United Nations Security Council.

In a resolution unanimously adopted on Tuesday, the Council calls for all parties who attack such facilities to be held accountable.

Schools have become the target of violent attacks or threats by both state and non-state forces in at least 31 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Anthony Lake, UNICEF's Executive Director hails the Security Council decision as a step towards ending the culture of impunity.

"Millions of children bear the brunt of war. Killed, maimed, orphaned, forced to flee their homes, sexually assaulted, pressed into the service of armed groups, and exposed to unspeakable violence. These horrific attacks are not only a violation of international and humanitarian law, they are a violation of our common humanity."

The resolution also calls for the perpetrators of such violence to be put on a 'naming and shaming' list of individuals and organizations who violate children's rights.

Duration: 22″

Related Story: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39013&Cr=children&Cr1=armed+conflict

Related Press Release: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2011/sgsm13698.doc.htm

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