Syrian forces indiscriminately targeting children

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Violence in Syria

The Syrian armed forces have been added to the United Nations list of parties that kill or maim children.

That's what the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.

Ms. Zerrougui who presented her annual report to the Council  says there is evidence that Syrian armed forces including its infamous Shabbiha militia are indiscriminately targeting children.

She adds that her office has also received unverified reports of recruitment and extra judicial killing of children by opposition forces.

"It's not for nothing that Syria is now listed; government forces are listed for maiming and killing. There is no doubt that we consider that there is violence committed against civilians and children. We would like to have more access to asses the circumstances in which these violations occurred and to qualify if we can say that it’s a weapon of war used to target specifically children or if it is an indiscriminate use of violence that affect children including civilians."

The Special representative called on states to move quickly to pass laws which explicitly prohibit and criminalize the recruitment of child soldiers and their use in hostilities.

Duration 38"

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