Afghanistan: UN strongly condemns suicide bombing at volleyball match
November 24, 2014

(UN News) - A brutal terrorist attack which killed at least 50 civilians in Afghanistan over the weekend is an “atrocity” and may amount to a war crime, the top United Nations envoy to the country declared today as he condemned the indiscriminate suicide bombing in “the strongest terms.” On 23 November, a suicide attacker detonated an improvised explosive device in a sports field in the Yahyakhail district of Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Paktika. At least 50 civilians who were attending a volleyball match were immediately killed while another 60 were injured. According to reports, many children were among the dead and injured.

 

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DR Congo: UN special envoy condemns ‘trend of massacres’ in eastern province
November 24, 2014

(UN News Centre) - The security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is “worsening,” a senior United Nations official has warned, citing an escalating trend of massacres in the town of Beni – the site of continuing flare-ups of deadly violence between armed groups, including Ugandan-based rebels operating in the area. The situation in the town has been steadily deteriorating over the past few weeks amid a spate of attacks in which over 100 civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed, according to UN reports.

 

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Many children among Afghan volleyball match bomb victims
November 24, 2014

(BBC) - Many children were among a crowd watching a volleyball match in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday when a suicide bomber struck killing at least 50. One boy told the BBC he saw the bomber arrive on a motorbike. The boy’s right leg was injured in the explosion but he dragged himself away.

 

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25 Years after the CRC: More Protection Needed for Children Affected by Armed Conflict
November 20, 2014

(OSRSG-CAAC) - Twenty-five years ago, with the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the world made a historic commitment to its children. The convention, ratified by 194 countries, became the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world and generated significant progress. But much more remains to be done to protect children, especially those growing up in countries affected by conflict. “Children continue to be killed, maimed, recruited and used by armed forces and armed groups, deprived of education and healthcare,” said Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. “Despite all our efforts, we haven’t changed the fact that children are still the most vulnerable in times of conflict.”

 

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25 Years after Landmark Treaty, Children’s Rights Still Violated with Impunity in Conflict
November 20, 2014

(GCPEA) - On the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) calls on states to safeguard children’s rights to life and education by addressing widespread attacks on schools, teachers, and students, and military use of education buildings during war. In 1989, world leaders recognized the rights of all children by adopting the CRC, the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. Yet, a quarter of a century later, the right to education enshrined in the CRC remains merely aspirational for some of the globe’s most vulnerable girls and boys in some of its most dangerous places: half of the world’s nearly 58 million out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected states.

 

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Universal Children’s Day: Time to take strong measures to protect children from armed conflict in the DRC November 2014
November 20, 2014

(Child Soldiers International) - Twenty-five years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Child Soldiers International and the Jesuit Refugee Service remain concerned by widespread abuses committed against children by armed forces and armed groups. Although significant progress has been made to protect children from armed conflict in the DRC, there is still a long way to go to prevent the recruitment of children, improve assistance to former child soldiers, and end impunity. On this anniversary, we urge the Congolese government to translate its international obligations, and the commitments it has made since 1990, into effective prevention and protection for children.

 

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FACTBOX-Where is slavery most prevalent?
November 17, 2014

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Nearly 36 million people around the world are enslaved, forced to do manual labour in factories, mines and farms, sold for sex in brothels, trapped in debt bondage and born into servitude, a global index on modern slavery showed on Monday. Qatar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria and Central African Republic rose up the rankings to enter the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of slavery in the 2014 Global Slavery Index, the second annual survey of its kind.

 

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Child soldiers fight against Islamic State in Syria
November 16, 2014

(USA Today) - A Kurdish boy who looks no older than 11 mans the entrance of a military base in northeastern Syria. His pants drag on the ground and his shirt hangs off his bony shoulders as he stands in an ill-fitting military uniform next to a Kalashnikov automatic rifle. Like many of the child soldiers in local Kurdish forces, he refuses to give his name or provide his age for fear of retribution. The State Department says it has raised concerns about the use of child soldiers, even as the U.S. aids these Kurdish fighters battling against Islamic State militants in Syria through airdrops of weapons and supplies provided by Iraqi authorities.

 

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Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, “Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria”
November 14, 2014

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has published a report titled “Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria” documenting the group’s use of terror to subjugate Syrians living in areas of its control, as well as the use of extreme violence against civilians and captured fighters. The report is based on over 300 accounts of witnesses and victims by Syrian men, women and children who fled or are living in ISIS-controlled areas.

 

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Yazidi families struggle to find and free enslaved daughters
November 13, 2014

(Al Jazeera) - Aysha hears screams in her sleep. Nightmarish memories flash through her mind — her husband writhing on the village road, face to the ground, hands tied behind his back; 2,000 women huddled on the floor, with men prowling around them, growling words they don’t understand; a man with a deep voice approaching, saying “You are for me.” Aysha shrinks, tosses, opens her mouth to scream but hears only wails from her 1-year-old son. Faces and noises blur together. She yells for her husband, but he is far away and cannot hear. Eventually she wakes up, realizing once again that she is one of the lucky few who have escaped. Rain leaked into the cold, unfinished house where 19-year-old Aysha, a Yazidi, lives, dripping mud onto her mat on the floor. Her son whimpered in his sleep. Aysha (who asked that her real name not be used) cradled him in one arm, rubbing her bulging belly with the other. Five of her relatives were asleep in the same room, flies buzzing at their faces as rain pounded outside the window. “One more month,” she whispered to her unborn child. “Then you will be here.”

 

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