News / Middle East

Hundreds of Children Killed in Syrian Violence

A Syrian child pass next to a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in Barzeh suburb of Damascus, Syria, on Thursday Nov. 10, 2011.
A Syrian child pass next to a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in Barzeh suburb of Damascus, Syria, on Thursday Nov. 10, 2011.
Lisa Schlein

The U.N. Children’s Fund reports hundreds of children have been killed and hundreds more detained since anti-government unrest broke out in Syria nearly 11 months ago. UNICEF’s Executive Director Anthony Lake is calling on Syrian authorities to stop the violence, as government forces continue to bombard the city of Homs, a hub of protests.

The U.N. Children’s Fund says hundreds of children have been victims during Syria's violence.  It says there are reports of children being arbitrarily arrested, tortured and sexually abused while in detention.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says her organization is also dismayed at shelling by government forces of civilian neighborhoods in the city of Homs over the past few days.  She says this undoubtedly is causing more suffering for more children. “The latest numbers that are available through the local human rights organizations working in Syria on children dead and in detention are over 400 dead and also over 400 in detention as at the end of January.  Again, these are from Syrian human rights organizations that we find to be credible," she said.

Human rights organizations report more than 6,000 people have been killed since mass protests against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad erupted in mid-March.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake is calling for an end to the violence in Syria.  In a statement issued in Geneva, he says even one child killed is one child too many.  Lake urges the Syrian authorities to allow help to all those who desperately need it.

In recent days, Syria’s third largest city, Homs, has been under what has been described as the deadliest government assault since the uprising began.  Residential areas have been hit by heavy shelling and machine-gun fire by government troops determined to take control of the city.

UNICEF spokeswoman Mercado says children are being caught up in the violence. “UNICEF does not have access to the affected areas of Homs and cannot confirm the impact of the attacks there, but there are credible reports, including from international media inside Homs, that children are caught in the violence.  Those injured must be given immediate and unconditional access to specialized medical care," she said.

Mercado says UNICEF is in constant dialogue with the Syrian authorities.  She says the agency reminds the authorities that Syria is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Under the Convention, she says, Syria has an obligation to protect children.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid