July 6, 2023

8,620 killed, 3,985 abducted as 18,890 children suffered ‘grave violations’ in 2022 – UN 

8,620 killed, 3,985 abducted as 18,890 children suffered ‘grave violations’ in 2022 – UN 

The United Nations has revealed that 27,180 grave violations were committed against children across the globe in 2022, as about 8,620 were killed or injured while 3,985 were kidnapped.

A verified report by the UN further said that the number of violations moved up from 24,000 the previous year, raising concerns about the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians and in Congo and Somalia putting most youngsters in peril.

UNICEF also expressed particular concern about their plight in Haiti, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Ukraine, where Russia has been put on the UN blacklist, Euro News said.

“Grave violations” include the recruitment and use of children by combatants, killings and injuries, sexual violence, abductions, and attacks on schools and hospitals.

UNICEF’s deputy executive director, Omar Abdi told the UN Security Council that 27,180 grave violations, up from 24,000 the previous year, are the highest number verified by the UN since its monitoring reports began in 2005. The number of conflict situations “of concern” was also the highest — at 26.

Since the report, Abdi said, a serious conflict has erupted in Sudan where over 1 million children have been displaced by violent conflict.

It also disclosed that the UN has received reports that hundreds have been killed and injured, stating that UNICEF expects a surge in Palestinian children affected due to recent escalations in violence.

Government and parties to conflicts are not fulfilling their commitments to protect children, and “meaningful and unambiguous action” is needed, the UNICEF official said.

The UN special envoy for children in armed conflict, Virginia Gamba, told the council that the 27,180 grave violations in 2022 were carried out against 18,890 children and included 8,620 who were killed or injured, 7,622 who were recruited or used by governments or armed groups in conflicts, 3,985 who were abducted, 1,165, almost all of them girls, who were raped, forced into marriage or sexual slavery or sexually assaulted.

The UN also verified attacks on 1,163 schools and 647 hospitals, a 112% increase from 2021, she said.

While armed groups were responsible for 50% of grave violations, Gamba underscored that governments were the main perpetrators of the killing and maiming of children and of attacks on schools and hospitals.

Gamba said, for example, last year three girls were gang raped in South Sudan “during five days of terror,” many boys were killed by an explosive device at a school in Afghanistan, a 14-year-old girl in Myanmar was abducted and burned alive, and an airstrike in Ukraine left a girl with amputated limbs.

“We must do more to prevent and protect our children from the ravages of armed conflict,” she said.