New York, 22 June 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The number of children abducted and raped in crisis regions saw a massive jump during 2020, according to a UN report.
“The violations of greatest exponential growth in 2020 were abduction, by a staggering 90 per cent, and rape and other forms of sexual violence which rose by 70 per cent,” the office of Virginia Gamba, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict, said Monday.
The office documented violence against more than 19,300 girls and boys in conflict zones during 2020.
In 8,400 cases children were killed or maimed – primarily in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
Close to 7,000 minors were recruited as child soldiers or used in war, primarily in Somalia, Syria, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Human Rights Watch criticized the UN office for not including Israel and Saudi Arabia on the so-called blacklist in the report’s annex for their actions against children, even though the crimes were documented in the report itself.
The rights group said it marked a repeated failure by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to base his list on the UN‘s own evidence, which they said betrays children and promotes impunity.