News / Africa

UN Reports on Child Rights Violations

FILE - Child soldier, center, known as "Kadogo," meaning "small one" in Swahili, stands at the front line at Kanyabayonga in eastern Congo.
FILE - Child soldier, center, known as "Kadogo," meaning "small one" in Swahili, stands at the front line at Kanyabayonga in eastern Congo.
Margaret Besheer

A U.N. report released Tuesday documents cases of children recruited and used as soldiers by eight national armies and 51 armed groups in the past year.

Some of the most serious situations are reported in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and South Sudan.

According to Leila Zerrougui, U.N. envoy on children and armed conflict, grave rights violations of children, including death, maiming, sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals, are highlighted.

In Syria, where a civil war is raging into its fourth year, the U.N. estimates more than 10,000 children have been killed.

"The conflict and violence in Syria reached unprecedented levels during 2013 — no sign of improvement since the beginning of the year and no political solution in sight," Zerrougui said.

In her report, Zerrougi says armed groups, including several associated with the opposition Free Syrian Army, as well as Islamist groups ISIL and Jhabat al-Nusra, are recruiting and using children for logistics, handling ammunition, manning checkpoints and as combatants. Armed groups also continue to kill and injure children, rape girls and target schools.

In neighboring Iraq, where ISIL fighters recently have made bold military gains, children are facing extremely violent and dangerous conditions. The report says nearly 8,000 civilians were killed last year, and at least 250 of them were children.

Terror groups in Africa also are responsible for attacks on children. Most notably in Nigeria, where Boko Haram, which has kidnapped scores of school girls in the country's north, has repeatedly targeted schools. According to the U.N. report, the group also has children as young as 12 in its ranks.

In South Sudan, Zerrougi said gains in reintegrating child soldiers back into society have been reversed by the political conflict that erupted in mid-December.

"I saw [for] myself children with guns; with the government, but also with armed groups — with David Yau Yau, with the SSLA and with the opposition under Riek Machar," she said.

On a positive note, Chad, which has previously been named for its use of child soldiers, was de-listed by the U.N. this year. The government signed onto an action plan with the U.N. in 2011 to end the practice. 

Chad is an important troop contributor to U.N. peacekeeping operations, and its record as a recruiter of child soldiers threatened to jeopardize its participation in U.N. missions.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid