A UNICEF report says children are dying in record numbers as the six-year conflict drags on in Syria, decimating the country’s most vulnerable generation. Children are also being recruited to fight in record numbers.
A report released on Monday by the UN’s child relief agency said 2016 had the highest record of children dying in the Syrian civil war, which is entering its sixth year.
The UNICEF report said the number of child victims had increased 20 percent compared to 2015.
The report said at least 652 children were killed during 2016 and over 850 children were recruited to fight during the same time period, “more than double the number recruited in 2015.”
“The depth of suffering is unprecedented. Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa speaking from Homs in Syria.
“Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being, and future.”
The report added that “children are being used and recruited to fight directly on the front lines and are increasingly taking part in combat roles, including in extreme cases as executioners, suicide bombers or prison guards.”