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P1010218        Kabul, 10 June 2014 - “There is no higher duty for every parent, every citizen, than to protect the future of the country: children. They deserve normal lives and normal childhoods,they deserve to be able to play wherever they want without being threatened by improvised [explosive] devices, without being threatened by unexploded remnants of war,”said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ján Kubiš, who launched in Kabul a campaign to respect and promote the rights of children under international law and Islam.  

“Unfortunately, for the last 30 years, the children of Afghanistan have been living and starting their lives, and often ending their lives, in the condition of war,” Mr. Kubiš added. “Every life of a child wasted, every future of a child unmet and destroyed by this war is one too many, but what I find particularly appalling is to brainwash children and then to use them as suicide bombers – and, in my two and half years here, there are many cases of children being misused as suicide bombers.”

The conflict in Afghanistan has left children dead and injured, including without limbs, according to UNAMA. It has often denied children basic human rights such as access to education and adequate healthcare.

UNAMA documented 1,694 child casualties – 545 killed and a further 1,149 injured – in 2013. The leading cause of death and injury of children was improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which do not distinguish between combatants and civilians and are the biggest killer of civilians in Afghanistan.

The booklet – entitled ‘Protecting Afghanistan’s Children in Armed Conflict’ – focuses on the six grave violations of child rights in armed conflict, namely:the killing and maiming of children, recruitment, use and association of children with armed forces and armed groups; the abduction of children; attacks against schools and hospitals; rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, and the denial of access to humanitarian assistance. The booklet examines each violation under Sharia law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the national laws of Afghanistan.

Read the UNAMA booklet :  Protecting Afghanistans Children.pdf