Iraq stops would-be child bomber for ISIS
August 23, 2016

(CNN) – Dramatic video has emerged of Iraqi police stripping an explosive belt from a child suspected in a suicide bombing attempt for ISIS. The footage appears to show security personnel restrain a visibly upset boy while they carefully cut the belt from the youth’s torso in Kirkuk. Once the belt has been removed, the boy is scooped up and taken away. Kurdistan 24, a broadcast news station based out of Irbil, Iraq, aired Sunday’s capture.

 

Link

Increasingly Complex Conflicts with Devastating Impact on Children, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Warns General Assembly in Annual Report
August 23, 2016

(OSRSG-CAAC) – In her annual report to the General Assembly, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the devastating impact on children of increasingly complex conflicts, despite concerted efforts and significant progress achieved over the past year. “The impact on children of the collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, with regions in turmoil and violations against children intensifying in a number of conflicts,” Leila Zerrougui said in the report, which covers the period from August 2015 to July 2016. “The violations are directly related to the denigration of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.”

 

Link

Jordan: Positive Steps on Education for Syrian Children
August 22, 2016

(HRW) – Jordan’s education minister has instructed public schools to allow Syrian children to register in the fall semester even if they lack government-issued documents that were previously required, Human Rights Watch said today. Carrying out this and other announced policy changes could help thousands more children attend school this semester. Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan have been unable to obtain or to update documents called service cards, which are issued to Syrians by Jordan’s Interior Ministry and are required for Syrian children to enroll in public schools. Human Rights Watch interviewed Syrian children in 2015 and 2016, who had been unable to go to school because they lacked the cards.

 

Link

Children as suicide bombers pose new challenges for security forces
August 22, 2016

(Sinclair Broadcast Group) – Officials in Turkey are still working to determine whether the suicide bomber who killed more than 50 people at a wedding in Gaziantep Saturday was an adult or a child, but terrorism experts say the weaponization of children by ISIS and other terrorist groups is a growing concern regardless of the perpetrator of this attack. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had initially stated that the bomber was believed to be 12 to 14, but investigators walked that statement back on Monday and said they are unsure of the age. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Erdogan said ISIS is the most likely possibility.

 

Link

Education under fire: Schools in Aleppo damaged in renewed fighting
August 22, 2016

(UNICEF) – The life of a child in Aleppo has become even more dangerous in recent weeks, as intense attacks and fighting escalate across the city. At a time when children are at even greater risk of bombardments and fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic, education has become another casualty. Schools in Aleppo have come under attack, with many occupied by fighters and left destroyed or damaged. The 1070 neighbourhood school provided a respite from what is often a harsh reality for 5,000 families who lived in the half-built concrete tower blocks of the settlement for displaced families in the suburbs of western Aleppo. As families fleeing the fighting in rural areas resettled in the neighbourhoods of 1070, Tishreen and Al-Riyadeh in 2013, existing schools became overstretched. The 1070 school became a place of hope where children could start to build new futures.

 

Link

Pulling kids from war’s rubble
August 22, 2016

(The Christian Science Monitor) – Within days of each other in August, two news items about children in conflicts caught the world’s attention. And each in a different way offered a reminder of why focusing on their plight in war is a necessary path to peace. One was the image of a five-year-old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, sitting with a bedazzled look in an ambulance after being pulled from a house in Aleppo bombed by either a Syrian or Russian jet. The other item was about a suicide bomber, believed to be around 13 and trained by Islamic State (IS), who killed 51 people at a wedding in Turkey. Nearly half of those killed by the child soldier were children themselves.

 

Link

Child labour a growing problem in war-torn Iraq
August 22, 2016

(Al Jazeera) – “I have friends,” eight-year-old Abdul Karim says from his soft-drink stand inside Iraq’s Ameriat al-Fallujah camp, “but I can’t play with them because I have to work to support my family.” He is just one of more than half a million Iraqi children being forced to leave school and work as their country remains embroiled in crisis, according to UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency.

 

Link

Child bomber in Turkey not the only violent use of children
August 21, 2016

(The Associated Press) – The suicide attacker who detonated his explosives amid an outdoor Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey, killing at least 51 people, was an Islamic State group child as young as 12 years old. The extremist group has a history of using children as weapons, sending them to their death strapped with explosives and putting them on front lines in Iraq and Syria.

 

Link

South Sudan’s Suspected Rapists Must be Brought to Justice
August 20, 2016

(Newsweek) – On the morning of July 21, three women left a United Nations base on the outskirts of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to buy food for their children. They are among thousands of people taking shelter in U.N. bases because of the country’s on-again, off-again conflict. They had heard stories of soldiers from the South Sudanese army raping women as they came back from similar shopping trips, so they hoped to return early enough to avoid trouble. But as they walked back from the market around noon, a group of uniformed soldiers with guns and knives stopped the women, beat them with rifle butts, seized their food and phones, and took them to a nearby walled compound.

 

Link

Exclusive: U.S. withdraws staff from Saudi Arabia dedicated to Yemen planning
August 19, 2016

(Reuters) – The U.S. military has withdrawn from Saudi Arabia its personnel who were coordinating with the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, and sharply reduced the number of staff elsewhere who were assisting in that planning, U.S. officials told Reuters. Fewer than five U.S. service people are now assigned full-time to the “Joint Combined Planning Cell,” which was established last year to coordinate U.S. support, including air-to-air refueling of coalition jets and limited intelligence-sharing, Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey, a U.S. Navy spokesman in Bahrain, told Reuters.

 

Link