In its annual Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) report (PDF), the UN raised alarm bells over the grave violations against children in conflict areas.
According to the report, at least 19,379 children affected by the war were victims of grave violations such as recruitment or rape over the past year.
A total of 26,425 grave violations were documented during 2020, including attacks on schools and hospitals.
“Escalation of conflict, armed clashes and disregard for international humanitarian law and international human rights law had a severe impact on the protection of children,” the report found.
“The wars of adults took away the childhood of millions of boys and girls again in 2020,” Virginia Gamba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on CAAC, said.
“This is completely devastating for them, but also for the entire communities they live in, and destroys chances for sustainable peace.
According to the report, the highest numbers of grave violations were recorded in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.