Syrian Government Attacks 2 Hospitals, Bread Line in Aleppo
September 28, 2016

(AP) – Government shelling and airstrikes in Syria’s eastern rebel-held Aleppo landed near a bread distribution center and two hospitals Wednesday, killing seven people and putting at least one of the medical facilities completely out of service, activists and medics said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Aleppo Media Center said six people were killed outside the bread distribution center.

 

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How Canada Can Protect Schools in War Zones
September 28, 2016

(Huffington Post) – “Sebastian” wore the most dazzling white school-uniform shirt, matched with the dirtiest of sneakers. We met inside a church in the town of Mweso in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, because he wanted to tell me about what happened at his school. Staring intently at his mud-caked shoes, the 12-year-old told me how earlier in the year soldiers from the Congolese army had taken over a few classrooms in his school to use as a barracks and temporary base. Sebastian explained how he’d valiantly tried to continue his studies in a classroom next door, literally in the line of fire should the rebels attack. When we spoke, he said he hoped that “just maybe” he’d soon be able to continue his studies in peace.

 

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No legitimate reason for attacks on Yemen hospitals, says aid group
September 27, 2016

(CNN) – Doctors Without Borders said there was no legitimate reason for attacks on two medical facilities it supported in Yemen that killed 20 people and caused the group to pull out of the country. On Monday the humanitarian group — also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) — released the results of investigations into airstrikes on a hospital in Abs in August and on a clinic in Taiz last December.

 

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Why So Many Children Are Being Killed in Aleppo
September 27, 2016

(The New York Times) – They cannot play, sleep or attend school. Increasingly, they cannot eat. Injury or illness could be fatal. Many just huddle with their parents in windowless underground shelters — which offer no protection from the powerful bombs that have turned east Aleppo into a kill zone. Among the roughly 250,000 people trapped in the insurgent redoubt of the divided northern Syrian city are 100,000 children, the most vulnerable victims of intensified bombings by Syrian forces and their Russian allies. Though the world is jolted periodically by the suffering of children in the Syria conflict — the photographs of Alan Kurdi’s drowned body and Omran Daqneesh’s bloodied face are prime examples — dead and traumatized children are increasingly common.

 

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UN humanitarian wing condemns attacks on relief workers in Central African Republic
September 27, 2016

(UN News Centre) – The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has condemned ‘in the strongest terms’ recent attacks involving humanitarian workers in the northern town of Kaga Bandoro located in the Nana Gribizi prefecture of the Central African Republic (CAR). “Violence against aid workers is a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law,” OCHA underscored in a news release issued yesterday.

 

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A former child soldier prosecuted at the International Criminal Court
September 26, 2016

(Oxford University Press Blog) – It’s easy to assume that only ‘evil’ people commit atrocity. And it’s equally easy to imagine the victims as ‘good’ or ‘innocent’. But the reality is far more complex. Many perpetrators are tragic. They may begin as victims. Victims, too, may victimize others. These victims are imperfect. Some victims survive – and some even thrive – because of harm they inflict. The lines among victims and perpetrators tend to blur in the cataclysm of atrocity. What, then, to say about judgment, condemnation, punishment, and mercy?

 

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Massacre in Aleppo Leaves Medical NGO Pleading for No Fly Zones and Aid
September 26, 2016

(Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations) – An intense aerial bombing campaign over Eastern Aleppo, which started on September 22 and continued throughout the weekend, has left over 600 civilians dead and over 1,600 injured in the past week. Ground personnel report over 80 children have died and hundreds more are terribly maimed and wounded. “In the five years of this war we have never seen so much trauma and death in our hospitals.” Said Dr. Bakri M.- One of the last remaining Surgeons in Aleppo. Three of the four Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets) response centers have been attacked and one completely destroyed, reducing emergency response capacity by 50%. UOSSM doctors anticipate a surge in casualties/ injuries in the coming days from patients who were unreachable.

 

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Ending the use of child soldiers in the Philippines
September 26, 2016

(Deutsche Welle) – The United Nations and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have pledged to safeguard the rights of children and have implemented an action plan to ensure that children affected by armed conflicts are better protected. “We are committed to implementing this program, which is for the good of our children,” said Sammy Al-Mansor, Chief of Staff of MILF – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). Since the full implementation of the action plan in 2014, more than 20,000 members of the MILF and its military wing, the BIAF, have been briefed on improving protective measures for children, prohibiting the recruitment of children and strengthening the role of women.

 

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Syria: Joint UN-Red Crescent relief convoy reaches besieged cities for first time in five months
September 26, 2016

(UN News Centre) – The United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) have delivered life-saving food aid to 60,000 people under siege in four Syrian towns, their first supplies since April, but extreme concern persists for 250,000 people trapped in Aleppo, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported today. “This convoy has brought extraordinary relief for 60,000 people who are in dire need of food and medical supplies, and have been cut off from humanitarian access for five months,” WFP Syria Country Director Jakob Kern said of yesterday’s deliveries to Madaya and Zabadani in Rural Damascus and Foaa and Kefraya in Rural Idlib.

 

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Obama’s failed legacy on child soldiers
September 25, 2016

(The Washington Post)  – President Obama will leave office having failed to use the tools at his disposal to make significant progress on getting child soldiers off the battlefield. That’s the consensus among human rights groups who point to the fact that for six consecutive years, the Obama administration has subverted U.S. law requiring the president to sanction foreign governments that force children to fight. As early as this week, the administration will announce for the final time a list of waivers and exemptions to the Child Soldiers Protection Act, a law passed in 2008 that forbids the United States from giving military aid to any foreign government that systematically uses children in its armed forces. According to officials involved in the process, the president will either fully or partially waive sanctions for every abuser country that receives U.S. military assistance.

 

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