The Guardian reports: One in every five children in Iraq is at serious risk of death, injury, sexual violence and recruitment into armed groups, while nearly 1,500 have been snatched from the streets or their homes since 2014, says a new report (pdf).
The UN children’s agency, Unicef, says 3.6 million children face this litany of risks – an increase of 1.3 million in 18 months. A third of all Iraqi children – 4.7 million – need humanitarian aid, with conditions only getting worse following fierce battles around the city of Falluja.
“Children in Iraq are in the firing line and are being repeatedly and relentlessly targeted,” says Peter Hawkins, the agency’s representative in Iraq.
“We appeal to all parties for restraint and to respect and protect children. We must help give children the support they need to recover from the horrors of war and contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous Iraq.”
The report says almost 10% of Iraq’s children – more than 1.5 million – have been forced to flee their homes since the intensification of fighting in 2014. [Continue reading…]