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  • "The worst situation is in Somalia. We ask the international community for help in monitoring this conflict," said the representative of the UN Secretary General, Virginia Gamba. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 July 2019

In addition to the 12,000 infants who died or were injured, at least another 7,000 were recruited against their will.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres presented on Tuesday the Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflicts, in which he revealed the highest figures of children killed or injured in armed conflicts since the entity "began to monitor and report this serious violation."

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According to Guterres' report, "more than 24,000 children were killed, injured, maimed, forcibly recruited and kidnapped, or suffered sexual abuse and other human rights violations during the year 2018."

Among the data provided in the report, at least 12,000 infants "died or suffered serious injuries in about twenty conflicts." He adds that an additional 7,000 "were forcibly recruited."

However, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba said "devastated because during the last three years, every year, actors dedicated to the protection of children in conflict have been reduced" .

On these cuts, Gamba points out that "It is ridiculous to cut the cost of peace missions in its softer fabric."

"It is immensely sad that children continue to be disproportionately affected by the armed conflict, and it is horrible to see them killed and mutilated as a result of hostilities," Gamba added.

Regarding Gamba's statements, António Guterres agreed that all parties to armed conflicts “guarantee the fulfillment of their obligations under international law, including the special respect and protection granted by international humanitarian law to children affected by armed conflict ”.

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