United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), in a statement while summarizing 2017 as a brutal year for children caught in conflict has said that parties to conflicts were blatantly disregarding international humanitarian law and children were routinely coming under attack.
UNICEF has warned that children caught in war zones are increasingly being used as weapons of war, recruited to fight, forced to act as suicide bombers, and used as human shields,
The statement added that, rape, forced marriage, abduction and enslavement had become standard tactics in conflicts across the globe.
“Children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” said UNICEF’s director of emergency programs Manuel Fontaine. He added, “As these attacks continue year after year, we cannot become numb. Such brutality cannot be the new normal.”
The UNICEF statement has called on all parties in conflicts to respect international humanitarian law and immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals. The agency also called on states with influence over non-state parties to conflict to use their influence to protect children.