Child casualties up in Afghanistan conflict in 2013
KABUL (Pajhwok): According to the United Nations Secretary-General’s global report on Children and Armed Conflict, there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of children killed or injured as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan in 2013, compared to the previous year.
A statement issued on Thursday said that the report had been released this week, said at least 545 children were killed and 1,149 injured in Afghanistan during 2013, resulting from actions by all parties to the conflict. The majority of deaths and injuries of children were caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) and landmines.
Schools and health facilities continued to be attacked by parties to the conflict or indirectly damaged in armed clashes. Approximately 115,000 children were affected by the temporary or permanent closure of 539 schools due to insecurity, with the largest number affected in the southern region. Over 60 teachers and health-care personnel were killed or injured, abducted, or intimidated in 2013.
Recruitment and use of children by parties to the conflict as combatants and for other purposes also remain a major concern with at least 97 cases registered in 2013.
“We are deeply concerned about the significant increase in child casualties and the devastating impact that the conflict continues to have on children’s safety, health and education in Afghanistan,” says Akhil Iyer, Representative, UNICEF Afghanistan.
“UNICEF repeats its call on all parties to the conflict to ensure the protection of children in accordance with international humanitarian law and to refrain from all actions that adversely impact health, education and other crucial services,” the UNICEF representative added.
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