United Nations
Security and countering violence

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday of a global rise in violations of children’s rights in times of conflict in 2021.

While data for 2021 is not yet available, the UN recorded 26,425 grave violations against children in 2020. The first three months of 2021 saw a slight decrease in the overall number of verified grave violations. However, verified cases of abduction and sexual violence have increased at alarming rates, by more than 50% and 10%, respectively, compared to the first quarter of the previous year.

“Year after year, parties to conflict continue to demonstrate a dreadful disregard for the rights and wellbeing of children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children are suffering, and children are dying because of this callousness. Every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm.”

Verified abductions were highest in Somalia, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger.) Verified instances of sexual violence were highest in the DRC, Somalia and the Central African Republic.