Statement by Unicef Iraq Representative, Peter Hawkins and UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš

3 December 2015 - "The ongoing conflict in Iraq is taking a heavy toll on the country’s most vulnerable citizens – its children.  

"In one incident on 26 November, eight children were reportedly killed and six injured during a military operation in Al Halabsa village, near the city of Fallujah.  Most children were under 10 years old. The incident happened at night, when people were likely to be in their homes. The UN is verifying an additional 15 incidents registered in October and November of attacks on civilian areas in Fallujah, by all parties to the conflict. UNAMI and Unicef remain very concerned with the safety of Iraq’s children who continue to suffer from the effects of hostilities across the country. Ongoing operations in Ramadi, Mosul, Tala’afar and other conflict-affected areas in Iraq raise the risk of additional grave violations of child rights.   

"Since the beginning of the year, a total of 189 children have been confirmed killed and another 301 injured as a result of the conflict in Iraq. In addition, hundreds of children in conflict-affected areas have been prevented to access basic services, such as health or education due to attacks on schools and hospitals. For instance, in Ramadi alone a total of 45 schools have been destroyed or damaged as a result of conflict since last year. 

"UNAMI and Unicef urge all parties to the conflict to abide by the principles of proportionality and distinction in the course of military operations, to protect children and other civilians from the effects of violence to the maximum extent possible, and to respect the civilian nature of schools and medical facilities.

--ENDS--

Notes for editors:

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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