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International Community Must Do More To Protect Children Caught In Conflict, Enforce Rules Of War

Globe and Mail: The rules of war are under attack — and so are our children
David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada

“…Around the world, the rules of war are under attack — and so are millions of children. … [T]oday’s children are no longer mere casualties of war or innocent victims caught in the crossfire. Today’s children are coming under direct attack. They’re being deliberately targeted, maimed, and killed as pawns in an adult’s game. … Yet we have the global framework in place to protect them. International humanitarian law states clearly that parties to conflict have … an explicit duty to protect children. So why is it that children continue to pay the ultimate price? … Humanitarian needs are at critical levels. But it will take more than humanitarian aid to help. It will take a concerted global effort to protect and defend the rules of war and to hold accountable those who blatantly disregard them. In this current era of protracted crises, which only continue to deepen in complexity, bring new waves of violence, and further disrupt children’s lives, it’s especially necessary to apply internationally accepted standards to conflict. To do otherwise would be to prolong the unacceptable consequences for children… (1/30).