Children at risk as battle for Mosul intensifies

By agency reporter
June 6, 2017

As the Iraqi Army fights Islamic State for control of the city of Mosul, civilians, including 100,000 children, are trapped. Last night (5 June 2017) Peter Hawkins, representative of the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) in Iraq issued the following statement:

“We are receiving alarming reports of civilians including several children being killed in west Mosul. Some were reportedly killed as they desperately tried to flee the fighting which is intensifying by the hour. Children’s lives are on the line. Children are being killed, injured and used as human shields. Children are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness. In some cases, they have been forced to participate in the fighting and violence."

Hawkins explained, "An estimated 100,000 girls and boys remain in extremely dangerous conditions in the old city and other areas of west Mosul. Many are caught in the crossfire and hospitals and other medical facilities have reportedly come under attack. As the fighting continues, UNICEF calls on all parties in west Mosul to protect children and keep them out of harm’s way at all times, in line with their obligations under humanitarian law. Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and water systems should stop immediately.”

UNICEF is working with partners to pre-position emergency supplies, including water and hygiene items, along the various displacement routes to reach as many people as possible as they seek safety. In camps for the displaced, UNICEF is providing food, basic health services, water and hygiene items to support the most vulnerable children and families.

THE agency is also providing family reunification for children who have been separated from their parents or extended families, legal representation for children who have been detained by security forces, and emergency psychosocial support and other child protection assistance to distressed children.

*UNICEF https://www.unicef.org.uk/

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