[QODLink]
Middle East

UN envoy warns of risk to Syrian children

Leila Zerrougui warns that conflict, now in its third year, will force children to be exposed to radicalisation.

Last Modified: 18 Jul 2013 15:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A UN envoy has warned that Syria's devastating conflict, now in its third year, will force a generation of children to grow up illiterate and filled with hate.

Leila Zerrougui, the special representative for children and armed conflict, says both sides of the Syrian conflict continue to commit grave violations against children.

She says scores of children have been killed, injured, detained, and forced to witness or to commit atrocities as President Bashar Al-Assad's troops battle opposition fighters trying to oust his regime.

Zerrougui also said on Thursday that thousands of schools have been destroyed.

"Children who are desperate and full of anger would like to seek revenge. And they will not have access to schools, which mean that a future generation – if this conflict continues – will be illiterate and exposed to radicalisation,” Zerrougui told Al Jazeera.

She spoke after a visit to Syria where she met government officials and rebel commanders.

She urged both sides to spare the children.

Thousands of children have died since the war began in 2011, according to the UN. It said there have been cases where children have been tortured and executed.

A UN report, released in June, said both government forces and rebels have been using boys and girls as suicide bombers or human shields.

242

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list