UNICEF Urges End to Violence Against Children in Central Sahel Region

The organization emphasizes that such violence is a grave violation of children's fundamental rights to life as enshrined in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Geneva | Updated: 30-05-2024 17:39 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 17:39 IST
UNICEF Urges End to Violence Against Children in Central Sahel Region
UNICEF underscores the urgent need for protection for all civilians, particularly vulnerable children, caught in the crossfire of ongoing conflict. Image Credit: Twitter(@OCHAROWCA)

UNICEF has issued a stark call to action, urging an immediate halt to the alarming surge in violent incidents targeting children in the central Sahel region of West Africa, encompassing Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. The organization emphasizes that such violence is a grave violation of children's fundamental rights to life as enshrined in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Recent data reveals a distressing escalation in violent incidents against children in the central Sahel, with grave violations increasing by over 70% in the last three months of 2023 compared to the preceding quarter. Of particular concern is the surge in cases involving the recruitment and use of children, as well as killings and maiming, which collectively spiked by over 130% between October and December.

The situation has only worsened in the first three months of 2024, with nearly 1,400 reported deaths in violent incidents recorded in the central Sahel. This figure represents a concerning 66% increase compared to the same period last year, according to data from ACLED.

UNICEF underscores the urgent need for protection for all civilians, particularly vulnerable children, caught in the crossfire of ongoing conflict. The organization stresses that the current crisis has subjected far too many children to grave violations of their rights, including killings, abductions, and recruitment by armed groups.

In response, UNICEF is calling on all parties involved in the central Sahel crisis to immediately cease all forms of violence, killings, and abuse of children. Such actions are imperative to ensure compliance with international law and uphold the basic rights and welfare of children in the region.  

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