Virtual Press Briefing by Special Representative of Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

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15-Jun-2020 00:45:05
Virginia Gamba, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, holds a press conference to launch the Secretary-General's Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict.

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Boys and girls used and abused in armed conflict have had their childhoods replaced by “pain, brutality and fear while the world watches,” according to the Special Representative. She maintained that parties to conflict often "neglect to protect children in the conduct of hostilities and deny them the vital aid they desperately need".

The tragedy children face continued unabated throughout 2019, the report highlighted, disclosing that the UN had verified over 25,000 grave violations against children.

The overall number of grave violations, which remains similar to 2018, translates into some 70 recorded abuses per day.

“By violating the rules of war, parties endanger their own children”, she spelled out.

Citing 4,400 verified incidents, the report revealed a shocking 400 per cent jump in the denial of humanitarian access to children last year, which Ms. Gamba called “by far most worrisome trend in 2019”.

Throughout 2019, boys and girls continued to endure sexual violence and although 735 cases had been verified, according to the brief, these violations are vastly under-reported.

“I call on all parties to conflict to immediately prioritize humanitarian access to children and vulnerable populations in situations of armed conflict, and to allow child protection experts and humanitarians to do their work”, said the Special Representative.

Ms. Gamba expressed the readiness of her office in continuing to support children throughout the regions.

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