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OVER 7,000 CHILD CASUALTIES VERIFIED IN SYRIA SINCE 2011 – UN ENVOY

UNITED NATIONS, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba said Friday that the UN have verified more than 7,000 children killed or maimed as a result of the Syria conflict since its start in March 2011.

Briefing the UN Security Council, Gamba said the number was obtained through a verification system called Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism, or MRM, established in Syria only in 2013. She further cited unverified reports as reflecting numbers that go way beyond 20,000 child casualties in the crisis.

The MRM reports on six grave violations against children: recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on hospitals and schools, abductions, and denial of humanitarian access.

Gamba told the Security Council that since the beginning of 2018, the MRM has verified over 1,200 violations against children. These include more than 600 children killed or maimed, more than 180 recruited and used by forces in conflict.

In addition, she said in the same period, more than 60 schools have been attacked while over 100 attacks on hospitals and medical facilities or personnel were verified.

She noted the first quarter of 2018 saw an increase of 25 percent in recruitment and use of children and a jump of 348 percent in killing and maiming compared to the last quarter of 2017.

In terms of sexual violence and abduction, although figures for the beginning of 2018 include few verified cases, cases have been reported across all the years since 2013.

Attacks on schools and medical facilities were one of the persistent features of the conflict in Syria, the UN envoy pointed out. "One in three schools are estimated to be out of use ... An estimated 2.1 million children are out of school inside Syria."

In addition, Gamba said a report on children and armed conflict in Syria will be published in the coming months, covering almost five years of the conflict.

She urged the Security Council to put pressure on parties to the Syria conflict to comply with their obligations under international law, so as to ensure children are no longer subject to violations of their rights.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK