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Syria, Palestine, Yemen biggest violators of child soldier recruits: UN

The report coincides with renewed Russian airstrikes in Syria’s last rebel stronghold of Idlib in the northwest.
A child stares at a US soldiers patrolling a village in the countryside of the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, near the Turkish border, on July 23, 2022. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The United Nations is sounding the alarm over the rising number of violations against children in Syria, including the recruitment of minors by the country’s various armed groups from January 2022 to December 2022. The warning came in the annual UN secretary general’s “Children and Armed Conflict” report released to the public on Tuesday.

“I am concerned about the increase in killing and maiming, recruitment and use, sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals during the reporting period,” Antonio Guterres said in the report.

The highest number of violations against children were recorded in countries witnessing armed conflict, including several in the region, notably Israel and the Palestinian territories, Syria and Yemen. 

A total of 3,133 “grave violations” against 1,139 Palestinian children and eight Israeli children were recorded in 2022 in the Gaza Strip, West Bank Jerusalem and Israel. Three Palestinian children were used as human shields by Israel forces and one as a combatant by Palestinian factions, according to the report.

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