Statement attributable to Peter Hawkins, Unicef Representative in Iraq

BAGHDAD/LONDON, 1 June 2016 – “As the violence continues to escalate in Fallujah and across Iraq, we are concerned over the protection of children in the face of extreme and rising danger.

“Since the start of the military operation in Fallujah, 60 kilometres west of Baghdad, very few families have been able to leave. Most have moved to two camps while others have sought refuge with relatives and extended families.

Unicef estimates that at least 20,000 children remain trapped in the city. According to reports, food and medicine are running out and clean water is in short supply.

"Children face the risk of forced recruitment into the fighting, strict procedures for security screening and separation from their families.

“Children who are recruited see their lives and futures jeopardized as they are forced to carry and use arms, fighting in an adult war.

Unicef calls on all parties to protect children inside Fallujah, provide safe passage to those wishing to leave the city and grant safe and secure environments to displaced civilians.” 

--ENDS--

For details on Unicef’s response to the crisis in Iraq, click on link for the flash update

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact:

Joe English, Unicef UK Press Office +44 (0)207 375 6091 JoeE@Unicef.org.uk

Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

About Unicef
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