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Report confirms dramatic increase in children affected by conflict, as school bombed in Syria

A Save the Children-supported school in Dara’a, Syria was badly damaged this week after being hit in an airstrike. Classes in the 536 capacity school were suspended, due to escalating violence, only hours before. 
29 June 2018
The latest annual report of the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (CAAC), has revealed that the number of children affected by armed conflict has dramatically risen in the past year. 

Over 21,000 grave violations of children’s rights have been verified by the United Nations from January to December 2017, an unacceptable increase from previous years (15,500 in 2016).

All 52 education facilities run by Save the Children’s partners in southern Syria have now been forced to temporarily close due to widespread airstrikes and growing instability. 

Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds said this kind of incident is yet another example of children being caught up in violence which is not of their making.

“Children all around the world continue to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict. They are being killed and maimed, raped and recruited, and being denied aid and medical care at an unacceptable level.  

“Warring parties are bombing schools and hospitals on a scale not seen for decades. This shows a blatant disregard for international law which makes children increasingly vulnerable to violence and abuse”, he said.

“As revealed in Save the Children’s recent report, War on Children, one in six children across the world now live in areas impacted by conflict, and are more at risk in conflict now than at any time in the last 20 years.”

Of major concern to aid agencies like Save the Children, is the increasing difficulty of providing life-saving emergency aid to children caught in conflict areas. 

As reflected in the CAAC report, the disturbing trend of the denial of humanitarian access used as a tactic of war has prevented thousands of children from receiving essential aid in countries including in Myanmar, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen.

Call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918 for interviews.

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