UNITED NATIONS: http://www.un.org/News
THE STATE OF THE WORLD'S CHILDREN 2017: https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_101992.html
Ukraine: 200,000 children forced to learn in bullet-riddled classrooms
“Children are learning in schools with bullet holes in the walls and sandbags in windows, bomb shelters in the basements and shrapnel in school yards,” said UNICEF’s Ukraine Representative, Giovanna Barberis. "The children are extremely nervous of shelling and teachers try to calm them down, but it’s hard for them” [...] “The education system in eastern Ukraine has been in the crossfire for more than four years. All sides of the conflict must respect international humanitarian law and ensure that schools are safe places for children to learn.” - Read more
Over the past five weeks, five children were killed and hundreds were injured in largely peaceful protests in Gaza.
“Children are showing signs of severe distress and trauma". “Yesterday, our UNICEF Special Representative visited a 14-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound, causing a severe injury close to his heart.“The escalating violence in Gaza has exacerbated the suffering of children whose lives have already been unbearably difficult for several years. Half of all children depend on humanitarian assistance, and one in four needs psychosocial care. Schools are overcrowded and operating on triple shifts, limiting children’s learning prospects. - Read more ...
Over 140 million children at greater risk of illness as they miss life-saving vitamin A supplements
Over 140 million children are at greater risk of illness, hearing loss, blindness and even death if urgent action is not taken to provide them with life-saving vitamin A supplements, warns UNICEF in a new report released today. Two doses of vitamin A every year can save thousands of children’s lives, yet as the report finds, the coverage of this low-cost intervention fell alarmingly in 2016. The worst-affected region is West and Central Africa, where coverage went down from 78-90 per cent between 2009 and 2015, to 79 per cent in 2015 and 54 per cent in 2016. In this region, vitamin A supplements are traditionally delivered during polio immunization campaigns. With most countries now polio-free, the polio eradication programme is starting to ramp down in terms of infrastructure and funding, which may lead to further dips in vitamin A supplementation coverage. Read more ...
UNICEF HELPING TO RESTORE HEALTH SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES RETURNING TO WAR-TORN MOSUL
Warning about the “alarming” state of Iraq’s healthcare system, especially in war-ravaged areas in and around Mosul, the United Nations children’s agency has stepped up its support to help the Government provide critical medical services so that children and families affected by violence and displacement can resume their lives. With less than 10 per cent of health facilities in Iraq’s Ninewah governorate functioning at full capacity, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that as many as 750,000 children in the governorate are struggling to access basic health services although violence has subsided. - Read more
MORE THAN 300 CHILD SOLDIERS RELEASED BY ARMED GROUPS IN SOUTH SUDAN
Some 300 child solders, including 87 girls, were formally released by armed groups in South Sudan, the United Nations mission in the country reported on Wednesday, calling on all stakeholders to support the young people on the journey back to their communities and help them build a future for themselves.
“Children should not be carrying guns and killing each other. They should be playing, learning, having fun with friends, protected and cherished by the adults around them. “They will have endured suffering, including sexual abuse. It is vital that they receive the support they need to re-join their communities and that they are welcomed home by family and friends without any sense of stigma,” added Mr. Shearer” said David Shearer, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan, welcoming the release. - Read more
ROHINGYA CHILDREN TRAPPED IN 'APPALLING' CONDITIONS IN MYANMAR'S RAKHINE STATE – UNICEF
9 January 2018 – While the eyes of the world are on Myanmar's northern Rakhine and Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh, more than 60,000 Rohingya children remain nearly forgotten, trapped in appalling camps in central Rakhine where the shelters teeter on stilts above garbage and excrement, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported Tuesday.
“Partners have identified about 20 children separated from their families during the violence but estimate the total number to be at least 100 – most of whom are in parts of northern Rakhine state that they still cannot access,” Marixie Mercado, UNICEF spokesperson told journalists in Geneva today during a briefing on her visit to Myanmar from 6 December 2017 through 3 January. - Read more
Brutality against children 'cannot be the new normal' stresses UNICEF
The scale of attack on children in conflict zones throughout 2017 is “shocking” said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), calling on all parties to conflict to abide by their obligations under international law and immediately end violations and attacks against children.
“Children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” said Manuel Fontaine, the Director of Emergency Programmes at UNICEF, in a news release Thursday.
“As these attacks continue year after year, we cannot become numb. Such brutality cannot be the new normal.” - Read more
UNICEF official calls 2017 ‘horrible’ for children in Yemen
Children in Yemen could not have a worse year than 2017, according to a senior official from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“2017 was a horrible year for the children of Yemen,” UNICEF Representative in the country, Meritxell Relaño, told UN News by telephone from the capital, Sana’a.
More than 80 children were killed or injured in December alone.
She urged a political solution for what she said was a man-made conflict and warned that without a political solution many more children would die. - Read more
Make digital world safer for children, increase online access to benefit most disadvantaged – UNICEF
Governments and the private sector have not kept up with the game-changing pace of digital technologies, exposing children to new risks and harms – both on and offline – and leaving millions of the most disadvantaged behind, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Monday in a new report.
Pointing out that one in three Internet users worldwide is a child, the agency in its State of the World's Children 2017: Children in a Digital World report, highlights digital divides and explores current debates about the impact of the Internet and social media on children's safety and well-being.
The Internet was designed for adults, but it is increasingly used by children and young people – and digital technology increasingly affects their lives and futures.
Moreover, digital networks, like the 'Dark Web' and cryptocurrencies, are enabling the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, such as trafficking and 'made to order' online child sexual abuse. - Read more
MILLIONS OF BABIES, MOSTLY IN SOUTH ASIA, RISK BRAIN DAMAGE FROM BREATHING TOXIC AIR
Almost 17 million babies live in areas where air pollution is at least six times higher than international limits, causing them to breathe toxic air and potentially risking their brain development, according to a new paper released on Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Danger in the Air, notes that breathing in particulate air pollution can damage brain tissue and undermine cognitive development – with lifelong implications and setbacks.
“Not only do pollutants harm babies' developing lungs – they can permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
Satellite imagery reveals that South Asia has the largest proportion of babies under the age of one living in the worst-affected areas, with 12.2 million babies residing where outdoor air pollution exceeds six times international limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). - Read more
UN rights chief calls for probe into attacks against Rohingya, says genocide ‘cannot be ruled out’
The United Nations human rights chief on Tuesday called for an international criminal probe into the perpetrators of the widespread and brutal attacks that have driven more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar since August, noting that “elements of genocide” against the minority could not be ruled out.
“Given all of this, can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?” he told the Human Rights Council in Geneva in a special session convened in response to the ongoing exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
“Ultimately, this is a legal determination only a competent court can make. But the concerns are extremely serious, and clearly call for access to be immediately granted for further verification,” he added. - Read more
FAMILY MEMBERS LINKED TO NEARLY HALF OF CHILD TRAFFICKING CASES
“Their brutality knows no bounds: sexual exploitation, forced labour, the removal of bodily organs and slavery are the tools of their trade,” said Secretary-General António Guterres, Tuesday, alongside Yuri Federov, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, connected via video conference.
“We must act urgently to protect the human rights and dignity of migrant populations, [bring] the perpetrators to justice, [and] increase humanitarian aid,” he added.
Noting, in particular, the horrific images of African migrants being sold as "goods" in Libya, Mr. Guterres also stressed the need to help Libyan authorities strengthen their own capacity to protect and provide for vulnerable men, women and children. [...] It also called for combating crimes that might be connected with trafficking in persons in areas affected by armed conflict, such as money-laundering, corruption, the smuggling of migrants and other forms of organized crime. - Read more