25,000 grave violations against kids in armed conflict last yr: UN

The UN has verified over 25,000 grave violations against children in armed conflict last year, according to an annual report.

The overall number of grave violations remains similar to the number reported in 2018 and represents some 70 violations per day, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying on Monday.

More than half of the violations in 2019 were committed by non-state actors.

Some 10,173 children were verified as having been killed (4,019) and maimed (6,154), with Afghanistan remaining the deadliest country for children, followed by Syria and Yemen, according to the report.

Up to 7,747 children, some as young as six, were verified as having been recruited and used.

Among those, 90 per cent were used by non-state actors.

Rape and other forms of sexual violence continued to be vastly underreported, with 735 verified cases in 2019.

Cases were prevalent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, the Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan.

The UN verified the abduction of 1,683 children in 2019, with over 95 per cent of cases perpetrated by non-state actors, mainly in Somalia, the DRC and Nigeria.

Children were abducted for recruitment and use and sexual violence or ransom.

Some 4,400 incidents of the denial of humanitarian access to children were verified in 2019, the highest increase in the number of incidents verified for any violation, compared with 2018.

The UN verified 927 attacks on schools and hospitals.

The highest numbers were verified in Syria, the occupied Palestinian territory, Afghanistan and Somalia, according to the report.