27 May 2015 – Unicef said today it is extremely concerned by evidence of the continued presence of children amidst violent confrontations in Burundi. This situation has led to the death of yet another child in a shooting Monday and the injury of a child struck by a bullet yesterday.
"Unicef reminds all parties of their obligation to ensure the safety and protection of children in Burundi, and in particular to ensure that children are kept out of all political demonstrations and actions that put them at risk,” said Unicef Regional Director for Eastern & Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “No child should be exposed to or witness violence. A child’s place is in safety and with family; not in the midst of violent confrontations.”
Respect for children’s rights is clearly established under Burundian and international law. Protecting children and upholding their rights is a shared responsibility, including of government and security forces. Children and youth in Burundi should not be involved in violent political actions, nor should they be mobilized to participate in hostilities under any circumstances.
Approximately, 84,000 people, two-thirds of whom are women and children, have fled Burundi as refugees to countries including Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Unicef is working with UNHCR, OHCHR, WHO and partners to support children in Burundi and those on the move.
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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 unicef.org.uk