Conflicts rob 30 million children of education: Norwegian PM
June 29, 2015

(Reuters) – Armed conflicts deprive about 30 million children of education worldwide and governments need to step up investments to make schools safer, partly by widening use of the Internet, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Monday. Solberg, co-chair of a United Nations group advocating new development goals for the world for 2030, told Reuters that higher spending on education would also benefit health, economic growth and women’s equality. We still lack 58 million children,” she said of global primary school attendance, which is lagging a U.N. goal set in 2000 of full access for all children by 2015. “Half of them are in areas where there are conflicts.”

 

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Afghanistan: UN official expresses deep concern after report reveals children bear brunt of conflict
June 26, 2015

(UN News Centre) – Last year saw more children killed or maimed in Afghanistan since monitoring of those statistics began in 2007, reflecting that “children are bearing the brunt of the conflict,” according to United Nations UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on children and armed conflict in that strife-torn country. “The killing and maiming of children from the indiscriminate use of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] in populated areas, and the use of children as suicide bombers, can only be condemned as flagrant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” said Leila Zerrougui, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

 

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Rights groups blast U.N. Security Council response to Syria killings
June 25, 2015

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A coalition of some 81 human rights and aid groups blasted the United Nations Security Council on Thursday for a “woefully inadequate” response to the killing of civilians in Syria, and urged it to ensure that those responsible will be punished. The 15-member council has been largely deadlocked over how to deal with the four-year war in Syria. Syrian ally Russia, backed by China, has vetoed several resolutions threatening action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The coalition, which includes Amnesty International, CARE International, Human Rights Watch, International Rescue Committee and Save the Children, said it was outraged at the unchecked brutality in Syria.

 

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Leila Zerrougui says children “bearing brunt” of conflict in Afghanistan as report shows their suffering “increased over time”
June 25, 2015

(OSRSG-CAAC) – Leila Zerrougui has expressed deep concern about the fragile security situation in Afghanistan as she highlights that the latest report of the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the country shows the suffering of children has “increased over time.” The 18-page report, released today, says 2,302 children were killed, and 5,047 injured throughout the reporting period from 1 September 2010 to 31 December 2014. Of that toll, 2,502 children were killed or injured in 2014 alone – making that year the worst for child casualties of any in Afghanistan since the monitoring began in July 2007.

 

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Hundreds more child soldiers recruited in South Sudan: monitors
June 25, 2015

(AFP) – Warring forces in South Sudan have abducted as many as a thousand more child solders in the latest abuses in the 18-month long civil war, military monitors said Thursday. Rebel troops carried out house-to-house searches snatching children as young as 13 in the battleground northern state of Upper Nile in two days in early June, monitors from East Africa’s eight-country IGAD bloc said in their latest report. It blamed notorious militia commander Johnson Olony, a rogue ex-government general with a track record for press ganging children to fight, who joined rebel forces in May.

 

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Understanding the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers as an Early Warning Indicator
June 25, 2015

(The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative) – The Dallaire Initiative’s latest report looks into how understanding the recruitment and use of child soldiers can be used as an early warning indicator for mass atrocity.

 

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Statement of Leila Zerrougui delivered at “Side-Event” of Human Rights Council: Protecting Education from Attack
June 24, 2015

(OSRSG-CAAC) – The full spectrum of parties-to-conflict puts schools and universities to use for a multitude of self-serving purposes, including as barracks, or training grounds – even as weapons stores or defensive positions. While some claim there is a military logic to using schools, Governments and military commanders must also be cognizant of the grave repercussions such commandeering has on children’s right to education. At worst, it can turn the school into an immediate target, thereby endangering the lives of any children in the vicinity, and risking structural damage from weapons fire that could render the school unusable as an educational establishment for many years – even once peace returns.

 

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Ukraine rebels train child soldiers in the making
June 24, 2015

(AFP) – He is only 14 but already knows how to assemble a Kalashnikov rifle. Denis is a child soldier in the making — eager to join the pro-Russian militants fighting Ukrainian troops. “If I were an adult, I would fight,” the skinny boy with a dishevelled crew-cut said in a war-scarred town deep in the heart of the rebel-run east of the ex-Soviet state. “I want to see war, to learn how to shoot, to see the tanks,” he said with an air of excitement as two adult rebels stood nodding at his side.

 

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Leila Zerrougui pledges support for Guidelines aimed at protecting schools from military use during conflict
June 24, 2015

(OSRSG-CAAC) – In a statement delivered in Geneva today, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, highlighted the support of her Office for the recently completed Safe Schools Declaration and Guidelines, which aim to protect schools and universities from military use during armed conflict. SRSG Zerrougui said she and her Office would continue to “strongly advocate” on behalf of children in conflict situations to persuade as many Member States as possible to commit to the Declaration, which has already received 46 endorsements. The statement was delivered on SRSG Zerrougui’s behalf at a “side event” called Safe Schools: Protecting Education from Attack, at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

 

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As factions fight, Yemenis suffer hunger, disease, fear
June 24, 2015

(Reuters) – Eight-year-old Abdullah Ali lay screaming in pain in a Sanaa hospital on Wednesday as a doctor cleaned his torn face, the victim of a worsening war that threatens millions of Yemenis with starvation and homelessness. “We were at home when air strikes hit the missile base on the mountain near our house,” Abdullah’s father Musleh said by his bedside, describing an air raid on an arms depot a month ago that sent missiles raining across part of Yemen’s capital.

 

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