3.6 million children in Iraq at risk, says Unicef

The UN children’s fund has warned that 3.6 million Iraqi children are at “serious risk” of death, injury, sexual violence, abduction and recruitment into armed groups.

3.6 million children in Iraq at risk, says Unicef

In its report, A Heavy Price For Children, Unicef called on warring parties in Iraq to protect children’s rights and said the number of youngsters at serious risk in the country has increased by 1.3 million in the past 18 months.

It describes Iraq as “one of the most dangerous places in the world for children”.

The report said the 2014 invasion by IS into large areas of Iraq’s north and west and the military operation to unseat them have had a “catastrophic impact”, with 4.7 million Iraqi children in need of humanitarian assistance.

It said children are also affected by the lack of adequate healthcare, poor public services and the desperate state of education.

“Children in Iraq are in the firing line and are being relentlessly targeted,” Peter Hawkins, Unicef’s Iraq representative, said.

“We appeal to all parties for restraint and to respect and protect children. We must help give children the support they need to recover from the horrors of war and contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous Iraq.”

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