More than 8,500 children used as soldiers in 2020: U.N.

More than 8,500 children were used as soldiers last year in various conflicts across the world and nearly 2,700 others were killed, the United Nations said on Monday.

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres’ annual report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict covers the killing,

maiming and sexual abuse of children, abduction or recruitment, denial of aid access and targeting of schools and hospitals.

The report verified that they had committed violations against 19,379 children in 21 conflicts. They committed the most 2020 violations in Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.

It verified that they used 8,521 children as soldiers last year, while another 2,674 children died and 5,748 injured in various conflicts.

The Report Also Includes

A blacklist intended to shame parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to implement

measures to protect children. The list also has long been controversial with diplomats saying Saudi Arabia and Israel

both exerted pressure in recent years in a bid to stay off the list.

Israel has never been listed, while a Saudi-led military coalition was removed from the list in 2020 several years after it

was first named and shamed for killing and also injuring children in Yemen.

In an effort to dampen controversy surrounding the report, they divided the blacklist released in 2017 by Guterres into two categories. One lists parties that have put in place measures to protect children and the other includes parties that have not.

There were also few significant changes to the lists released on Monday. The only state parties named on the list for

not putting measures in place are Myanmar’s military – for killing, maiming and sexual violence against children – and

Syrian government forces – for recruitment of children, killing, maiming and sexual violence against children and attacks on schools and hospitals.

By Victoria E.I

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