1 in 5 children live in conflict zones, Save the Children

'Stop the War on Children' campaign lauched

13 May, 17:22

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, MAY 13 - Almost one in every five children, double the percentage seen at the end of the Cold War, now live in an area affected by armed conflict.

    The number has grown by 30 million since 2016 with children ever more severely exposed to violations of their rights, including repeated attacks on schools. In 2017 alone, over 1,400 school buildings were bombed. In conflict zones, education is one of the main rights denied to children. There are 27 million displaced children due to wars that no longer have access to education, said Save the Children in its latest report. For its 100th anniversary, the organization has launched the 'Stop the War on Children: Protecting Children in 21st Century Conflict' campaign.

    It held an event at Rome's MAXXI museum on Monday in which Italian president Sergio Mattarella will take part, entitled 'Everybody Down on the Ground', to convey the experience of children attending school in war zones. In 2017, over 10,000 children were killed or mutilated due to bombing, while an estimated 100,000 infants lose their lives every year due directly or indirectly to war, including through malnutrition and diseases. In Yemen, out of a total of 16,000 schools, at least 256 schools have been entirely destroyed by airstrikes, 1,413 have been partially damaged, and 686 have been used as housing for thousands of people displaced. There are over 2 million children out of the school system in the country, and two-thirds of teachers have not received a regular salary in the past two years. The figure is similar to that in Syria, where 2.1 million children are out of the school system, deprived of basic skills and a safe and protected environment. The same situation is seen in countries in which conflicts are marked by armed groups instead of attacks from the air. In South Sudan, 30% of schools have been damaged, destroyed, occupied, or forced to close, leaving 2.2 million children out of the school system. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a conflict that has been going on for over 20 years, 1.9 million school-age children no longer attend school due to the conflict.

    During the day there will be an awards ceremony for the TuttoMondo Contest for those under 21, on the theme 'Peace Beyond War'.

    A fund-raising campaign through SMSes to 45533 also begins on Monday. (ANSAmed).

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