Children continue to pay a deadly price as they succumb to a nearly three-fold rise in attacks over the last 10 years in conflict-ridden areas, the United Nations has said.
Violations against minors in wars include killing, maiming, sexual violence, abductions, denial of humanitarian access, child recruitment and attacks on schools and hospitals.
The UN has verified more than 170,000 grave violations against children since 2010 – the equivalent of more than 45 violations each day for the last 10 years.
“Conflicts around the world are lasting longer, causing more bloodshed and claiming more young lives,” UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said.
“Attacks on children continue unabated as warring parties flout one of the most basic rules of war: the protection of children,” she said, adding that many more acts of violence against children go unreported.
In 2018, the UN recorded more than 24,000 abuses, nearly three times as many as in 2010.
In approximately half of those cases, children were killed or maimed by air attacks and explosive weapons such as landmines and mortars.
UNICEF also noted that the number of countries blighted by war is the highest it has been in 30 years.
Children in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan were at particular risk in 2019, according to UNICEF.
The UN agency called on the warring parties around the world to end violations against children and the singling out of civilian infrastructure.