UNICEF calls for immediate release of abducted school girls in north-eastern Nigeria
April 16, 2014

(UN News) - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has strongly condemned the reported abduction of some 100 school girls between 12 and 17 years old from their school hostel in north-eastern Nigeria yesterday, and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

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New treaty enables children to lodge complaints with UN about rights violations
April 15, 2014

(UN News) - United Nations child rights experts today hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the world body about alleged violations of their rights. The treaty, known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure, entered into force today – three months after Costa Rica became the 10th country to deposit its instrument of ratification. [..] The Optional Protocol will enable children and their representatives to submit complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about specific violations of their rights under the Convention, as well as under its other two Optional Protocols (on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution).

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Nigeria unrest: ‘Attackers abduct 200 schoolgirls’
April 15, 2014

(BBC) - Gunmen reportedly arrived at the school in Chibok, Borno state, late last night, and ordered the hostel’s teenage residents on to lorries. Parents told the BBC’s Hausa service that at least 200 girls had been abducted. The attackers are thought to be from the Islamist group, Boko Haram.

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Train, Act, Protect
April 9, 2014

(UN Peacekeeping) – New training materials for military personnel pre-deployment on child protection released by the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

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Citing new report, UN urges DR Congo to end impunity for ‘widespread’ sexual violence
April 9, 2014

(UN News) - United Nations officials today called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to step up the fight against impunity for rape and sexual violence, which remain widespread and largely unpunished despite some progress in holding perpetrators accountable. [..] Speaking at a news conference in New York, Ms. Pillay noted that the vast majority of the cases documented in the report were women, but there were also around 906 children and 81 male victims. Nearly half of the 3,600 victims were in the strife-torn eastern province of North Kivu. The youngest victim was only two years old and the oldest was 80 years old.

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Concern over polling in Afghan schools and clinics
April 2, 2014

(IRIN News) - The recent spate of Taliban-led attacks against electoral targets in Afghanistan, with the presidential vote just days away, has increased concerns in the aid community about the use of schools and health clinics as polling stations. [..] While schools are often used as polling centres in other countries, in Afghanistan the practice means there is often a significant impact on children’s access to basic education, as well as a security risk. 

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Growing up in war – the DRC’s child soldiers
March 31, 2014

(IRIN News) - When he was seven Dikembe Muamba* became a soldier on the orders of his uncle, a chief in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province.  “I stole my first gun, when I was 10. It was a flintlock. By the time I became a captain at 14, I had many guns. I led 50 people, both children and adults. There were about 30 children in the unit. The youngest was 10,” Muamba, now 17, told IRIN. 

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Mali’s child soldiers
March 31, 2014

(Humanium) - In Mali, children make up more than half of the population and hundreds of them have joined armed groups. Like all child soldiers belonging to such groups, they may be subjected to arbitrary executions, torture, kidnapping and sexual abuse.

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UN officials appeal for urgent funding for relief operations in Sudan and South Sudan
March 25, 2014

(UN News) - Yasmin Haque, Deputy Director, Office of Emergency Programmes at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), who was also on the inter-agency mission, said it was “tragic” to see what has happened in South Sudan, where she served as Country Representative prior to taking up her current post. She noted that the conflict has “severely disrupted the hope” that the children of South Sudan had in their country, and it is really urgent to have funding and services in place to meet their needs. The conflict has also meant that children are facing grave violations, whether their schools are being occupied, health centres are being destroyed or children themselves are being recruited by the armed groups.

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Time running out for children in South Sudan says UNICEF
March 25, 2014

(UNICEF) - “On top of the violence and violations that children have suffered for nearly 100 days, they are now at greater risk than ever of disease and malnutrition. Time is running out for the children of the world’s newest nation – we need better resources, better access, peace and security. Children cannot wait.” said Dr Haque.

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