UNICEF: children’s lives must be further protected in Africa

children walking to school, Nigeria children walking to school, Nigeria © Photo by Tope A. Asokere on Pexels

In Focus by Alessia Rossinotti; Editor: Alexander Collin

The Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, has expressed serious concerns regarding the safety of children in West and Central Africa after around 140 students were abducted in Nigeria. An increasing number of attacks have targeted civilians, including children. 

Ongoing conflicts in various countries in the region put children’s lives at serious risk. Despite being protected by international treaties and international humanitarian law, children often become an easy target for all warring actors. This concern was a focus of the Executive Director’s statement. All parties involved in fighting, Ms. Fore stated, must respect international norms protecting civilians and cease deliberately attacking them.

Children in the region keep being targeted through kidnappings, violent attacks, and other human rights violations. Just to mention one recent example, during an attack on a village in Burkina Faso on June 5, 130 civilians were killed, children included, representing one of the deadliest attacks carried out in the country. 

The international community, in this regard, has a moral obligation to act concretely and collectively to fully protect children from conflict and violence. Moreover, supporting the humanitarian organizations working on the ground is of the utmost importance to make sure that children receive the aid and support they need. Further action is thus needed to ensure that children can enjoy their fundamental rights and live free from violence.

 

Sources:

UNICEF calls for action to reverse ‘spiraling protection crisis’ for children in West and Central Africa | | UN News

Concerns deepen over attacks against children and child abductions in parts of West and Central Africa (unicef.org)

 

Author: Alessia Rossinotti; Editor: Alexander Collin

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