Quantcast
Latest Stories

Children used as human shields in Syria war – UN


Smoke rises from a fire as a result of fighting in the Syrian village of Quneitra near the border with Israel, as seen from an observatory near the Quneitra crossing June 6. AP FILE PHOTO

UNITED NATIONS – Children are being used as sniper targets and human shields in the Syria war, the United Nations said Wednesday, in a report that added Mali to its child soldier list of shame.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon said in the report the 26-month-old war in Syria is taking an “unacceptable and unbearable” toll on children with thousands among the death toll.

The office of UN special representative on children in conflict, Leila Zerrougui said it had received “verified reports that Syrian children are killed or injured in indiscriminate bombings, shot by snipers, used as human shields or victims of terror tactics.”

Zerrougui presented the report which said boys as young as 10 are used by armed groups to work as combatants and porters.

It said there were a growing number of reports of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel group, recruiting children, mostly between 15 and 17.

Sexual violence has been used by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against boys to obtain information or confessions, the special representative said.

Child detainees as young as 14 were tortured like adults “including electric shock, beatings, stress positions and threats and acts of sexual torture.”

Thousands of children “have seen family members killed or injured,” said the report.

“Everyone involved in the conflict needs to take urgent measures to protect children,” Zerrougui said.

“Allowing access for lifesaving humanitarian assistance is essential. We cannot allow innocent children to continue to die because they can’t see a doctor, or because they can’t fulfill their basic needs.”

Mali, where Islamist groups took over the north of the country until a French-led intervention in January, was the only new country added to the UN blacklist released each year.

Tuareg rebels, Al-Qaeda Islamists and pro-government militias used hundreds of child soldiers in Mali, said Zerrougui.

Children make up more than half of Mali’s population of 15.8 million and many have been abducted for armed groups and girls forced to become the wives of combatants, Zerrougui told a press conference.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Ansra Dine rebel groups were all named in the UN report.

“Sexual violence against girls by armed groups was reported to be widespread and systematic in northern Mali,” said the report which highlighted hundreds of cases of rape, gang rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage since the uprising in March last year.

Chad’s national army is on the UN list but is also being considered for the UN peacekeeping force scheduled to deploy in Mali in July. Zerrougui said, however, that Chad’s government had made a “very strong commitment” to end the use of child soldiers.

Widespread use of child combatants and sexual violence had also been reported in Central African Republic.

Nine government armies and 46 armed groups — ranging from national armies in Afghanistan and Somalia to rebel groups in Myanmar and the Philippines — are on the UN list for using children as soldiers or torturing and raping children.

Zerrougui said action plans to end the use of child soldiers had been launched with government forces and armed groups in Myanmar, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

Thousands of children also had been released by armed groups in 2012. Nepal and Sri Lanka have been taken off the UN list.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Children , civil war , human shield , Syria , United Nations




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement