Tuesday, May 13, 2014

UNAMA launches booklet on protecting Afghan children in armed conflict --- 12 May 2014 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today launched a booklet on the obligations of all parties to the country’s armed conflict to respect and promote the rights of children under international law and Islam. -- The booklet also highlights the complementarity of the teachings and fundamental tenets of Islam with international human rights and international humanitarian law. -- “There is no higher duty for every human being, 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 UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, at the launch which took place at offices of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in the capital, Kabul. -- “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, and has impeded even the most basic economic development, fuelling poverty and further vulnerability of children. -- 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,’ with editions in Dari, Pashto and English – is the result of a series of discussions and collaboration between UNAMA and respected Afghan religious leaders, scholars and experts representing different religious and academic institutions. - More, http://unama.unmissions.org


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