Over 5 lakh children dies due to armed conflicts in 5 years — Report
New Delhi, Feb. 15 (IANS): At least 5,50,000 babies died as a result of armed conflicts between 2013 and 2017 in the 10 worst-affected countries — an average of 100,000 babies every year, according to a new analysis released by Save the Children on Friday.
The new research, titled “Stop the War on Children” released on Friday by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), commissioned by Save the Children, found that 420 million children were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017 (18 per cent of all children worldwide) — up by 30 million from the previous year.
Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia are the countries where the children were hit hardest by conflict in 2017.
The infants succumbed to indirect effects of conflict and war, such as hunger, damaged infrastructure and hospitals, lack of access to health care and sanitation, and the denial of aid.
The report suggests that 1 in 5 is living in areas affected by armed conflict and war — more than at any time in over 20 years.
“The report includes a breakdown of UN data on verified grave violations against children. According to these figures, grave violations rose worldwide from just under 10,000 in 2010 to more than 25,000 in 2017 — the highest number on record,” it stated.
The report noted that every day children face the threat of being killed or maimed, recruited by armed groups, abducted, falling victim to sexual violence, seeing their school attacked or humanitarian aid denied. In many cases, children are specifically targeted.
Save the Children’s report also highlighted how efforts to keep schools safe, avoid the use of certain weapons, seek accountability for crimes against children or pursue new ways to support their recovery from the horrors of conflict can make a huge difference in their lives.
“The number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled, and we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of aid as a weapon of war. It is shocking that in the 21st century, we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple — children and civilians should never be targeted,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO, Save the Children International.