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U.N. Releases Annual Report On Children, Armed Conflict

In its annual report on children and armed conflict, the U.N. “says thousands of children have been killed, injured, tortured or recruited into militias and armies in the past year as a result of armed conflicts,” noting “progress in some states, but a worsening situation in others, such as Mali, Syria and the Central African Republic,” VOA News reports. “The report chronicles violations in 21 countries during 2012 and includes Mali for the first time,” the news service writes, adding, “It focuses on six violations — recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, maiming and killing, abduction, sexual violence, denial of access for humanitarians, and attacks on schools and hospitals.” According to VOA, “[t]he secretary-general’s envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, said at the release of the report Wednesday the situation of children in Syria, Mali and the Central African Republic is especially troubling” (Besheer, 6/12). The Associated Press notes the report “says the number of children killed and injured in Afghanistan’s war has risen sharply this year,” adding “414 children have been killed or injured in the first four months of this year, up 27 percent over the same period the previous year” (6/13).