Conflict keeps millions of children out of school: UN expert

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Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

Although schools worldwide are about to reopen, conflict is keeping millions of children out of the classroom, a senior UN official told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Leila Zerrougui, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, reported that nearly two million Syrian youngsters had dropped out of school due to the crisis in their country.

She said Syrian children are not alone, and she listed Somalia, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as places where conflict has had an impact on the lives of children.

"Not only have children been deprived of the right to education but every day they are killed and maimed, subjected to sexual violence, recruited and used by armed forces and groups. Children are also forced to witness and commit atrocities. They are detained, tortured and ill-treated for their alleged association with parties to conflict." (29")

Ms. Zerrogui called on the Human Rights Council to include child protection concerns and violations of child rights in armed conflict in all its new and renewed mandates.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’17″

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