There has been a disturbing increase in violence perpetrated against children in conflicts worldwide, coupled with almost total impunity.
As massive protests escalated worldwide last month, millions of children walked out of schools to demonstrate against the lackadaisical response – primarily from world leaders --to the ongoing climate emergency resulting in floods, droughts, typhoons, heat waves and wildfires devastating human lives.
Fourteen-year-old Fanta lives in a tent in a settlement in Zamaï, a village in the Far North Region of Cameroon with her mother and two brothers. They came here more than a year ago after her father and elder brother were murdered and her elder sister abducted by the extremist group Boko Haram.
The United States-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have struck a deal with the United Nations to stop using child soldiers across swathes of eastern Syria under their control and to release all youngsters from their ranks, the U.N. announced Monday.
Twenty-eight years ago this month, an indigenous woman stood in the plaza in Guatemala City, watching as the presidents of Central America walked out into the street after signing the Peace Accords that would end the civil wars in our region. When I reached her, she took both my hands in hers and said, “Thank you, Mr. President, for my child who is in the mountains fighting, and for the child I carry in my womb.”
Whether in Palestine, Ukraine or Somalia, wars result in millions of children threatened by the brutality of armed conflict.
No one will deny that when a child – any child – is killed, it is a tragedy. Imagine, then, the extent of the tragedy in Afghanistan where, in just four years, 2,302 children have lost their lives as a result of ongoing fighting in this country of 30 million people.
Palestine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, has sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council demanding that action be taken against Israel over the abuse of Palestinian children after they have been arrested by Israeli security forces.
“I’d quit my job before going to work in a place like that.” That is how a primary school teacher responded when IPS asked him why he had not accepted a job in Cameroon’s Far North region.
Zimbabwe boasts of one of the highest rates of literacy across Africa but, but without free primary education, achieving universal primary education here may remain a pipe dream, educationists say.
Winter has not yet hit this nearly besieged city, but children are already attending classes in winter coats and stocking hats.
The walls of the Association for the Martyrs of Serekaniye are covered with the portraits of those fallen in combat in this northern Syrian town. Ali Khalil has buried everyone and each of them with the help of Diar, his 13-year-old son.
“You cannot continue with your education. You have to get married because this man has already paid dowry for you,” Matilda H’s father told her. Matilda, from Tanzania, was 14 and had just passed her primary school exams and had been admitted to secondary school. She pleaded with her father to allow her to continue her education, but he refused.
chases after a ball made from plastic bags outside his mud-brick home in the mountains of southern Uganda.
Yelling in his tribal tongue, Nkore, “Arsenal with the ball! Arsenal with the ball!” he jostles with his younger brothers for possession.
“When the [Israeli] shelling started, I gathered up my family and headed for what I though was a safe place, like a school, but then that became overcrowded and lacked sanitation, so we ended up in the grounds of the hospital.”
The woman who walked into the Islamic Front (IF) media office near the Turkish border was on the verge of fainting under the hot Syrian sun, but all she cared about was her infant son.
The clock marks 9 AM when a bus coming from the Mexican city of Tapachula reaches Corinto, on the border between Honduras and Guatemala. It is the first bus of the day, carrying children and their families sent back from a failed attempt at making it across the border into the United States.
Homes for orphans or children in vulnerable situations in Mexico lack the necessary state regulation and supervision, which leads to scandalous human rights violations.
"My child became blind and lost the ability to speak, his dad died and his three brothers are seriously wounded. He still has not been told about the loss of his dad,” says the mother of 7-year-old Mohamad Badran.