UNICEF Iraq Representative, Peter Hawkins and UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, says the ongoing conflict in Iraq is taking a heavy toll on the country’s most vulnerable citizens – its children.
“In one incident on 26 November, eight children were reportedly killed and six injured during a military operation in Al Halabsa village, near the city of Fallujah,” Peter Hawkins said.
“Most children were under 10 years old. The incident happened at night, when people were likely to be in their homes. The UN is verifying an additional 15 incidents registered in October and November of attacks on civilian areas in Fallujah, by all parties to the conflict,” Hawkins added.
UNAMI and UNICEF remain very concerned with the safety of Iraq’s children who continue to suffer from the effects of hostilities across the country. Ongoing operations in Ramadi, Mosul, Tala’afar and other conflict-affected areas in Iraq raise the risk of additional grave violations of child rights.
“Since the beginning of the year, a total of 189 children have been confirmed killed and another 301 injured as a result of the conflict in Iraq. In addition, hundreds of children in conflict-affected areas have been prevented to access basic services, such as health or education due to attacks on schools and hospitals. For instance, in Ramadi alone a total of 45 schools have been destroyed or damaged as a result of conflict since last year,” Ján Kubiš said.
“UNAMI and UNICEF urge all parties to the conflict to abide by the principles of proportionality and distinction in the course of military operations, to protect children and other civilians from the effects of violence to the maximum extent possible, and to respect the civilian nature of schools and medical facilities,” Kubiš added.
Source: UNICEF US