ABOUT 535 million children in the world are living in a country affected by conflict or disaster, the U.N has said.
The head of the U.N. children’s agency made this known on Monday.
Henrietta Fore told a Security Council meeting on children and armed conflict that it is “almost beyond comprehension” that one of every four young people are caught in that situation.
She pointed to children and young people whose lives are being shattered by conflicts, including in Yemen, Mali and South Sudan. She also cited youngsters recruited to fight, killed by a land mine or an attack on their school, and “losing hope not only in their futures, but in the futures of their countries.”
Sweden, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, organized the open meeting on the theme “Protecting Children Today Prevents Conflict Tomorrow” and sponsored a resolution unanimously adopted by the 15 members to strengthen U.N. actions to ensure the care and safety of youngsters.
The resolution states for the first time that children recruited or caught up in armed conflict should be treated primarily as victims, he said.
It urges all countries “to consider non-judicial measures as alternatives to prosecution and detention that focus on the rehabilitation and reintegration for children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups.”