MENA Children affected by armed conflict
Armed conflicts in the Middle East are getting worse. As in various parts of the world, there are grave violations against innocent people whose only fault is their presence in a particular geographical area. These violations affect naked civilians who cannot defend themselves in any way. Which wider the conflicted areas of offenses due to the absence of an obstruction.
Perhaps the most controversial issue is that these violations have reached the point of inhumanity in dealings with women and children. “The United Nations” report issued in 2021, highlights the number of grave violations that occurred in the Middle East, such as the occupied Palestinian, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
According to the report, there were approximately 24,000 violations against children in 2021, 15% of these cases, whose perpetrators were unknown, which makes prosecution unreachable. In addition to other significant numbers of killing and maiming, forcible recruitment, denial of access to humanitarian aid…
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict noted that children who survive conflicts are affected with deep physical and emotional scars.
There is no doubt that the aspects of violations against children during conflicts are numerous. UNICEF mentioned six violations against children during conflicts:
1- Killing and maiming of children. It occurs by targeting children directly through torture or crossfire, landmines, cluster munitions, explosive devices, and other indiscriminate devices. Also through military operations such as house demolitions, search and arrest campaigns, or suicide bombing attacks.
Explosives and their remnants are among the most common tools that cause the killing and maiming of children. In 2020, at least 47% of child victims were caused by them, according to UNICEF estimates.
2- military conscription of children by the armed forces. This type of abuse is increasing at alarming rates, especially during the past years, as children work with armed groups exclusively as fighters, cooks, and spies…or this exploitation may be sexual exploitation.
3- Destruction of schools and hospitals, which constitutes a violation of children’s rights in education and health care. Besides, schools and hospitals must be safe even during conflicts to be shelters for children and women. Too Attacking schools and hospitals during the presence of children and people kills many and exposes the rest to Lifelong abnormalities.
4- Sexual violence takes many forms such as prostitution, trafficking, forced marriage or pregnancy, and sexual exploitation… This type of violence is used to humiliate residents or force them to leave their homes. Girls are also more affected by sexual violence, (97% of victims between 2016/2020 were girls)
5- One of the most prevalent violations during armed conflicts is children kidnapping to take revenge or to provoke terror among families. The kidnapped children expose to grave violations such as murder, mutilation, sexual violence, or forced recruitment.
6- Preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid, including food and medicine, which threatens children’s lives.
How can children be helped during armed conflict?
One of the most important things is to offer children a safe environment to enjoy a peaceful life away from all armed and political conflicts. It is necessary to evacuate children from war zones and secure adequate housing for them, in addition to the importance of urging them to continue their education and meet their needs.
The imposition of peace in countries is one of the most important things for these children to avoid a series of violations against them.