UNICEF: 230 million children globally exposed to violence

Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such unspeakable brutality, reports says

Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such unspeakable brutality, reports says

ANKARA - The year 2014 was one of worst years in history for children, the United Nations Children's Fund said in a report released on Monday.

Millions of children in conflicts zones across the world are exposed to extreme violence and its consequences, the report said.

Globally, an estimated 230 million children currently live in countries and areas affected by armed conflicts.

"Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such unspeakable brutality," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in the report.

"Children have been killed while studying in the classroom, and while sleeping in their beds; they have been orphaned, kidnapped, tortured, recruited, raped and even sold as slaves," Lake said in the report.

As many as 15 million children are caught up in violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Palestine, Syria and Ukraine – including those internally displaced or living as refugees, the report said. 

"The world can and must do more to make 2015 a much better year for every child. For all the children who grow up strong, safe, healthy and educated are children who can go on to contribute to their own family's, their community's, their nation's and, indeed, to our common future," Lake said.

About 2.3 million children are affected by the conflict in Central African Republic and up to 10.000 may have been recruited by armed groups as soldiers, the report said.

In Gaza, 538 children were killed and 3.370 injured, and 54.000 children were left homeless as a result of the 50-day conflict during the summer.

In Syria, more than 7.3 million children are caught up in the civil war, including 1.7 million child refugees. In Iraq an estimated 2.7 million children are affected by ongoing conflict. In South Sudan, an estimated 235.000 children under five are suffering from severe malnutrition.

This year has also posed significant new threats to children’s health and well-being, most notably from the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which has left thousands of children orphaned and kept an estimated 5 million out of school.

The United Nations Children's Fund warned that many crises in 2014 were quickly forgotten or captured little attention.

The UN report comes as terrorists groups continue to control some parts of Syria, Iraq and Nigeria where they terrorize and kill people of all the communities under their control.

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