Child soldiers in Central African Republic more than doubled, says charity
December 18, 2014

(The Guardian) - The number of child soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR) has more than doubled – and possibly quadrupled – since sectarian conflict erupted last year, putting them at risk of long-term psychological damage, Save the Children warns.

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New International Guidelines Address an Insidious Gap in Protecting Education during War
December 16, 2014

(GCPEA) - As the world learned of the horrific attack by the Taliban on a school in Pakistan today, killing at least 145 people including some 100 students, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) called on government armed forces and non-state armed groups to refrain from using education facilities for military purposes in accordance with the new Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict, unveiled today at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

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UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Strongly Condemns Horrific Peshawar School Attack
December 16, 2014

(OSRSG-CAAC) - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, strongly condemns the horrific attack against the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, Pakistan. According to local media, over 125 people died, including at least 100 children in the deadliest terror attack on Pakistani soil in years.

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Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on killing of children in Peshawar, Pakistan
December 16, 2014

(UNICEF) - The horrific, callous killing of more than one hundred children today in Peshawar, Pakistan must do more than shock the conscience of the world – as it will.  

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People of South Sudan living in ‘tinderbox’ after year of conflict, warns UN rights chief
December 15, 2014

(UN News Centre) - Highlighting the “dreadful” situation of civilians in South Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned today that there are deeply worrying indications that fighting would intensify now that the dry season had begun, and urged all parties to practice restraint, engage in meaningful dialogue and work to restore calm. “The people of South Sudan are living in a tinderbox, with emotions high, an abundant flow of weapons and with both sides recruiting fighters, often forcefully and including children,” Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement issued to draw global attention to the increasingly desperate living conditions for the country’s people after a year of conflict.

 

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Child’s Play at War in South Sudan
December 14, 2014

(New York Times) - The filmmaker Andrew Berends traveled to Sudan last year to document the lingering effects of Sudan’s civil war. Although South Sudan was declared an independent country in 2011, the fighting continues. He met three girls – Madina, Howa and Aziza –at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan. He featured them, along with clay figures that they had sculpted by hand, in this short film he made for the Times Opinion section’s Op Doc Series. In it the girls use home-made figures to illustrate what they and their fellow refugees endured during the conflict.

 

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Year of conflict in South Sudan has stolen future of a generation of children – UNICEF
December 12, 2014

(UN News Centre) - The scale of the crisis facing children in South Sudan is “staggering” according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which warned today that the future of an entire generation of the country’s children was being “stolen” by the year-long conflict. Since violence erupted in December 2013, almost 750,000 children have been internally displaced, with 320,000 more living as refugees. UNICEF says that approximately 400,000 children were missing school, 12,000 reported as being used by armed forces and groups, and children were subject to violence, malnutrition and disease.

 

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Kabul suicide bomber attacks French school during show
December 11, 2014

(BBC) - A suicide bomber has attacked a French-run school in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing several people during a show, French officials say. At least 15 people were injured in the attack at the Istiqlal school, home to the French Cultural Centre. Video footage showed chaos inside the packed auditorium after the explosion. Earlier, at least six Afghan soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber on the outskirts of Kabul – part of a string of attacks by the Taliban. The militants also said they were behind the attack on the school, describing the performance as an insult to Islamic values.

 

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UN Security Council Working Group meets with children formerly associated with armed forces or groups in Goma
December 9, 2014

(OSRSG-CAAC) – On the third day of their DRC trip, the UN Security Council Working Group on children and armed forces headed by H.E Ms Sylvie Lucas from Luxemburg visited UNICEF partner CAJED transit centre which provides support to children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups in Goma, in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In CAJED, the working group met with children to better understand their experience and the trauma they had gone through prior to their arrival in the CAJED centre.

 

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One year on: Children hardest hit by violence in Central African Republic
December 8, 2014

(IFRC) - Upon their arrival at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Bangui, Central African Republic, several children run toward the Red Cross team, clapping their hands and cheering, a sign of appreciation for the team’s arrival with humanitarian aid, to keep them going, at least for the time being. These children, victims of a war that is not theirs, bear the trauma of family disintegration, dropping out of school, abuse, movement restriction, insecurity and the inability to be who they are – children! Among them is Benicia Anjikapou, 9, who lived with her parents and four siblings in the neighborhood of Combatant before violence erupted. She was a class two pupil at a nearby primary school, living the normal life of a child. When armed clashes broke out in Bangui, her world was turned upside down. The worst happened. Her father, who worked in the capital, did not return home – he had been killed.

 

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