About 315,000 grave violations against children in conflict or war were verified by the United Nations between 2005 and 2022 according to UNICEF.
More than 120,000 children were killed or maimed.105, 000 others recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups, more than 32,500 were abducted and more than 16,000 children were subjected to sexual violence.
From 2005 UNICEF reports that these violations were committed by parties to conflict in more than 30 conflict situations across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latino America.
Further, the UN has also verified more than 16,000 attacks on schools and hospitals and more than 22,000 instances of denial of humanitarian access for children.
As these are just the cases that have been verified, the true toll is likely to be far higher.
Additionally, many millions more children have been displaced from their homes and communities, lost friends or family, or been separated from parents or caregivers.
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said “Any war is ultimately a war on children. Exposure to conflict has catastrophic, life-changing effects for children. While we know what must be done to protect children from war, the world is not doing enough. Year after year, the UN documents the visceral, tragic and all too predictable ways that children’s lives are torn apart. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that children do not pay the price for the wars of adults, and to take the bold, concrete action required to improve the protection of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”
Unfortunately, the scale of the child protection risks to children affected by conflict is not matched by the scale of funding available to address these issues, UNICEF says.
A new analysis by Humanitarian Funding Forecasting, commissioned by UNICEF, Save the Children, the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and the Global Child Protection Area of Responsibility, reveals that by 2024, the child protection sector will require US$1.05 billion, increasing to US$1.37 billion by 2026, to address the protection needs of children in armed conflict.