Published on June 22, 2015
First UN report on children in Syria’s civil war paints picture of ‘unspeakable’ horrors
4 February 2014 – Syrian children have been subjected to “unspeakable” suffering in the nearly three years of civil war, with the Government and allied militia responsible for countless killings, maiming and torture, and the opposition for recruiting youngsters for combat and using terror tactics in civilian areas, according to the first United Nations report on the issue.
“Violations must come to an end now,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the report, which was released yesterday to the Security Council. “I therefore urge all parties to the conflict to take, without delay, all measures to protect and uphold the rights of all children in Syria.”
The report, covering the period from 1 March 2011 to 15 November 2013, lists a raft of horrors that Syria’s children have suffered since the opposition first sought to oust President Bashar al-Assad, ranging from direct commission of abuse, including sexual violence, to more general violation of their rights from school closures and denial of access to humanitarian aid.
“The present report highlights that use of weaponry and military tactics that are disproportionate and indiscriminate by Government forces and associated militias has resulted in countless killings and the maiming of children, and has obstructed children’s access to education and health services,” Mr. Ban writes.
Government forces have also been responsible for the arrest, arbitrary detention, ill treatment and torture of children. Armed opposition groups have been responsible for the recruitment and use of children both in combat and support roles, as well as for conducting military operations, including using terror tactics, in civilian-populated areas, leading to civilian casualties, including children.”
The report spotlights the disappearance of many children, notes that all parties to the conflict have seriously hampered the delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas most affected by the fighting, and warns that children have experienced a high level of distress as a result of witnessing the killing and injuring of members of their families and peers, or of being separated from their family and/or displaced.
Detailing the detention of children as young as 11 years old for alleged association with armed groups by Government forces in large-scale arrest campaigns, the reports says they were ill-treated and tortured to extract confessions or humiliate them or pressure a relative to surrender or confess.
“Ill treatment and acts tantamount to torture reportedly included beatings with metal cables, whips and wooden and metal batons; electric shock, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives,” the report says.
“Reports indicate that children were also suspended from walls or ceilings by their wrists or other limbs, were forced to put their head, neck and legs through a tire while being beaten, and were tied to a board and beaten.
The report cites a 16-year-old boy as saying he witnessed his 14-year-old male friend being sexually assaulted and then killed, and notes other allegations that boys and in a few instances girls were raped. The 16-year-old said children and adults were beaten with metal bars, their fingernails pulled out, their fingers cut. “Or they were beaten with a hammer in the back, sometimes until death,” he added.
Allegations of sexual violence by opposition groups were also received, but the UN was unable to further investigate them due to lack of access, the report says.
It adds that opposition forces recruited and used both in support roles and for combat, while Government forces used children as human shields. It notes that during the first two years of the conflict, most killings and maiming of children were attributed to Government forces, but mainly due to increased access to heavy weapons and the use of terror tactics opposition groups increasingly engaged in such acts in 2013.
“Armed opposition groups also engaged in the summary execution of children,” it says, reporting that lack of access, including for security reasons, prevented the UN from systematic documentation.
Schools and hospitals have been disproportionally targeted by all parties, with indications that Government forces were the main perpetrators of attacks against hospitals and other health-care infrastructure, mainly opposition-run makeshift health facilities and of threats and attacks against medical personnel, according to the report.
“Injured opposition fighters and civilians, including children, admitted to Government hospitals in perceived pro-opposition areas in Aleppo, Dar’a, Homs and Idlib governorates were reportedly exposed to arrest, detention, ill treatment and acts tantamount to torture by civilian doctors, and/or elements of Government forces,” it says.
The UN also received reports on instances where opposition groups denied medical treatment to injured pro-Government fighters, or misused ambulances, including to cross Government checkpoints.
In his list of recommendations, Mr. Ban calls on all sides to stop all grave violations against children cited in the report, end all indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian areas, including terror tactics, airstrikes, chemical weapons and heavy artillery, allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and immediately release abducted women and children.
Syrian children were deliberately targeted by the Assad Regime
With hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, the Syrian conflict is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. The people of Syria are suffering unimaginable hardships. Children and babies are some of the worst hit victims of this crisis.
World Health Organization: “Ten Syrian children have tested positive for polio!” A disease once thought, at least in the civilized world, to be eliminated is back.
Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams wrote: “So does “global citizenship” instead mean people-to-people assistance, avoiding politics and military action to aid the millions facing poverty and disease? Such an approach might well justify engagement with certain regimes we would otherwise seek to isolate, and in any event it would show deep solidarity with fellow human beings whatever their religion, nationality, or politics. But the Obama administration has shown no interest in such an approach.”
These children were gone too soon! Remember their innocent faces and their tragic death.
Please speak up and stand up for the Syrian children!
Together, we can save the rest!
The conflict in Syria reaches a tipping point: violence at unimaginable levels
They kill our children to break our hearts
Syrian children as young as 2 years of age were victims of killing, maiming, abducted, arbitrary arrest, illegally detained, severe torture, sexual violance (anal rape by army officers or by objects), starvation, ill-treatment, summarily massacred, used in combat as human shield, denied schooling, medical aid, access to humanitarian aid, deliberately targeted in violent attacks (stabbed, burned, knifed, beheaded), chemical attack, aircraft barrel bombing…
Young men and teenagers boys old enough to fight for the rebels were dragged into the streets and shot by security forces. There were children being murdered by Shia militia with swords in their own home.
Read more articles:
Genocide in Syria
Syrian refugee families flee Assad’s war on children
The bombing stop as she is death!
Assad: O Good! One more terrorist die!
Even if they escaped physical harm, it’s the images and sounds of war they can’t forget. Parents say children are suffering from flashbacks, sleeping troubles, bed-wetting, speech problems, feel isolated and unsafe; some have become aggressive or hyperactive, posttraumatic stress disorder, severe emotional disorders and others have grown more shy or unusually quiet.
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These children and infants were maimed permanently by the Assad’s Regime Forces. They will have a very tough life ahead of them!
Syrian children has to face with Assad’s Rockets Attack, Explosive Barrels Bombs, Artillery, Tanks, Naval Ships, Cluster Bombs, Airstrikes by Warplanes, Ground Operations, Chemical Weapons, Napalm, Phosphorous Bombs, Sarin Nerve Gas, Mortar, Firearms, Torture, Starvation, Sexual Abuse, Cigarette Burns, Sleep Deprivation, Solitary Confinement, Rape, Electric Shock…
Definition of maim: Mutilation or injure (someone) so that part of the body is permanently damaged.
Synonyms for maim: injure, wound, cripple, disable, incapacitate, impair, mar, mutilate, lacerate, disfigure, deform, mangle
Russia and China veto UN move to refer Syria to international criminal court
The 65 countries condemned “widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in a pervasive climate of impunity by the Syrian authorities and pro-government militias as well as by non-state armed groups”.
Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main allies and has used its veto power four times at the 15-nation Security Council to prevent international sanctions on Syria.
“This was an opportunity for the world to stand up for justice for the Syrian people. Russia and China’s actions in preventing this are indefensible.”
The killers, destroyers and the torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis…