Violence against children spiked in 2023 amid Gaza, Sudan crises, UN says

Violence against children in armed conflicts reached "extreme levels" in 2023, particularly in Gaza and Sudan, according to a forthcoming UN report obtained by AFP on Tuesday.

The United Nations' annual "Children in Armed conflict" report placed the Sudanese army as well as the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on the blacklist for "the killing and maiming of children, and for attacks on schools and hospitals."

Also added to the blacklist were Hamas and the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad for the October 7 attack on Israel, as well as the Israeli army for its retaliatory campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

"In 2023, violence against children in armed conflict reached extreme levels, with a shocking 21 percent increase in grave violations," said the report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which is due to be published on Thursday.

The UN verified 30,705 violations committed against children last year, including 5,301 killings, 6,348 injuries, 8,655 instances of children recruited and used in conflicts, 5,205 denials of humanitarian access and 4,356 kidnappings.

"It will take a long, long time to verify," said the UN official.


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