"Tragedy" of youth targeted by violent extremists

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The role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace was discussed at the Security Council meeting today. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The conscription and murder of young people by violent extremists has been branded a "tragedy" by the UN chief.

Addressing a Security Council meeting on the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace, Ban Ki-moon said adults were abusing youthful innocence.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

Young people in many parts of the world are increasingly being targeted by violent and extremist groups.

Many of the school girls who were kidnapped by the Boko Haram group in Chibok, Nigeria last year are still unaccounted for.

Over 140 students were massacred in April by al-Shabaab terrorists in Garissa, Kenya and in Peshawar, Pakistan the Taliban have killed many young people.

Ban Ki-moon said, despite so many set-backs, he was heartened by the resilience of the young.

"Violent extremists deliberately target youth for exercising their human rights. I am distressed by the tragedy of young people who are conscripted, kidnapped and killed. But I am also impressed by young people who survive war and champion peace."

The United Nations says it is working to listen to youth and respond to their concerns.

A Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism that will seek to engage and empower young people is now being developed under the guidance of the Secretary-General.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1’04″


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