The Washington Post: by Nick Kirkpatrick —
Esther Tokpah, an 11-year-old orphan in Monrovia, Liberia, who lost both parents to Ebola.
A new report released on Monday by UNICEF declares 2014 a “devastating” year for children.
“Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such unspeakable brutality,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement. “Children have been killed while studying in the classroom and while sleeping in their beds; they have been orphaned, kidnapped, tortured, recruited, raped and even sold as slaves.”
Conflicts all around the world drew children in.
“As many as 15 million children are caught up in violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Syria and Ukraine,” UNICEF said in a press release, “including those internally displaced or living as refugees. Globally, an estimated 230 million children currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts.”
Here’s a look at some of the places and issues mentioned in the report:
“In the Central African Republic, 2.3 million children are affected by the conflict, up to 10,000 children are believed to have been recruited by armed groups over the last year, and more than 430 children have been killed and maimed – three times as many as in 2013,” UNICEF said.
“In Gaza, 54,000 children were left homeless as a result of the 50-day conflict during the summer that also saw 538 children killed, and more than 3,370 injured,” UNICEF said.
“In Syria, with more than 7.3 million children affected by the conflict including 1.7 million child refugees, the United Nations verified at least 35 attacks on schools in the first nine months of the year, which killed 105 children and injured nearly 300 others,” UNICEF said. “In Iraq, where an estimated 2.7 million children are affected by conflict, at least 700 children are believed to have been maimed, killed or even executed this year. In both countries, children have been victims of, witnesses to and even perpetrators of increasingly brutal and extreme violence.”
“In South Sudan, an estimated 235,000 children under five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition,” UNICEF said. “Almost 750,000 children have been displaced and more than 320,000 are living as refugees. According to UN verified data, more than 600 children have been killed and over 200 maimed this year, and around 12,000 children are now being used by armed forces and groups.”
“This year has also posed significant new threats to children’s health and well-being, most notably the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which has left thousands of children orphaned and an estimated 5 million out of school,” UNICEF said.
Crises in other countries mentioned by UNICEF that were “quickly forgotten or captured little attention” include Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Origional Post here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/12/09/unicef-never-in-recent-memory-have-so-many-children-been-subjected-to-such-unspeakable-brutality/