The massacre of more than 100 children in an attack on a school in Pakistan, and the reported killing of at least 15 school girls in a car bombing in Yemen, mark a dark day in the closing weeks of a bleak year for children around the world.   

There can be no justification for such unspeakable savagery against children as they go about the simple act of going to school, or against teachers as they work to educate them. Each life taken in Peshawar and Al Bayda today is a future lost forever.   

Repeatedly this year, schools have been targets of violence, with students, teachers, and school staff paying a terrible price. And throughout 2014, children have been affected as never before in recent memory by violence and extreme hatred, with some 230 million children living in countries affected by conflict. These tragedies underscore why 2015 must be the year when protecting children against violence of every kind, whether in conflict or in peace, whether in school or at home, and in every circumstance, becomes a global priority.   


Notes for editors

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Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit