New York, 31 December 2021 (TDI): As a result of the UNICEF issuing a report in regard to children’s rights and conflicts globally in the year 2021, illuminating information came to the fore with reference to severe violations of children’s basic rights in conflict regions.

Possibly this is not the most appropriate topic for New Year’s Eve, but understanding human obligations will be very important to make the new year much happier for humanity.

Results of UNICEF’s Peace and Security Program

In 2021, UNICEF declared that conflict and violence between communities and insecurity will continue to have a devastating impact on thousands of children worldwide.

UNICEF has documented grave violations committed against children, particularly young people, in long-running and new conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and northern Ethiopia.

Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said that “parties to the conflict have demonstrated a dreadful disregard for children’s rights and well-being year after year.”

Detailed Data

The UN confirmed 26,425 grave violations against children in 2020, despite the fact that the organization has not yet been able to verify the data for this year.

The number of serious violations registered in the first three months of 2021 showed a slight decrease as compared to last year. In spite of this, there was a significant increase in the number of documented cases of abduction, as well as sexual assault—both of which increased by more than 50% and 10%, respectively.

Somalia is the country with the most confirmed abductions, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger).

In contrast, the number of confirmed cases of sexual violence was most significant in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The United Nations and the international community will be gathering to remember the 25 years since Graça Machel published her landmark report, The Impact of War on Children. In this report, she called for action by the United Nations.

In the past 16 years, the United Nations has confirmed 266,000 cases of grave violations against children committed during over 30 conflict situations occurring in countries such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

While UNICEF has verified these cases through the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism 2005, it is likely that the actual number of cases is much higher than the number of cases verified.

Regions Affected by Gravest Violations

Afghanistan, for example, has reported the most considerable number of verified child casualties since 2005, according to the United Nations. Furthermore, the country accounts for 27% of all verified child fatalities in the world, with a combined total of over 28,500 incidents reported.

At the same time, the Middle East and North Africa are home to the most substantial number of confirmed attacks on schools and hospitals. There were 22 attacks detected in the first six months of 2018.

As reported by UNICEF in October 2015, approximately 10,000 children have been killed or maimed in Yemen since the fighting escalated in March 2015. This is equivalent to four youths being killed every day since the fighting commenced.

“Unspeakable” Threats to National Security

UNICEF reports that girls and boys living in conflict-affected areas are subjected to unspeakable horrors every single day that no human should ever experience. The threat of explosive weapons is persistent and growing, particularly in populated areas.

According to estimates, explosive weapons and remnants of war were responsible for nearly half of all child casualties by 2020. Approximately 3,900 children are expected to die or suffer disabilities as a result.

In many cases, children are the victims of grave violations of their rights, such as abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Among the abductions verified by the UN last year, 37% involved the recruitment and use of children in war, a figure higher than 50% in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic.

“Ultimately, children who live through war will only be safe when warring parties do their part to defend them and stop committing grave violations against them,” Henrietta H. Fore

Call to Action for a Commitment

UNICEF is calling for all parties’ involvement in the conflict in the development of formal action plans. Only 37 of these plans have been signed by the parties to the conflict since 2005, which UNICEF said was “a shockingly low number considering the stakes for children.