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Worst crimes against children reach highest level since records began- save the children report

Palestinians children warm up around a fire outside their makeshift tent at a camp set up on a schoolyard in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip where most civilians have taken r   -  
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Protection of children

A new report shows that the number of ‘grave violations’ committed against children in war rose 13% in 2022, to the highest level since reporting started in 2005.

The new analysis - Stop the War on Children: Let Children live in Peace -released by Save the Children warns the numbers of abuses are expected to rise still further in 2023.

These violations represent the worst crimes that can be committed against children in conflict, from killing, maiming and abduction to sexual violence, recruitment into armed groups and strikes on schools and hospitals according to the report.

About 27,638 grave violations were committed against children during conflict in 2022. That’s an average of 76 a day.

The report also reveals that in 2022, about 468 million children – one in six – were living in a conflict zone. The number of children living in conflict zones has increased steadily over time, with 2022 seeing a 2.8% increase compared to 2021.

Based on Save the Children’s analysis, the Democratic Republic of Congo was the worst conflict-affected country to be a child in 2022, followed by Mali in second place, then Myanmar.

Gwen Hines, CEO of Save the Children UK, said while these trends were devastating, the number of violations against children is expected to be even higher in 2023 due to the conflict in Sudan and the ongoing bombardment of Gaza:

“It’s a terrible time to be a child in war. The global norms that were set up to protect children from the worst that can be committed against them are crumbling. The trends are all in the wrong direction – violations against children are increasing year after year”.

“While the data is for 2022, we expect 2023 to be no better – indeed, we may reach new lows. The humanitarian crisis in Sudan – the worst displacement crisis on earth for children – has seen killing, horrific sexual violence, torture and maiming of children on a scale not witnessed for a generation”.

Children consulted for the report said that decision-makers must ensure the protection of all children who spend their childhood in areas where there is conflict