UNICEF on Thursday warned that “education is under attack” in Ukraine and indicated that about 100 children had been killed in clashes in the past month.
At a UN Security Council meeting convened by France and Mexico to discuss the progress of the war, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also warned that the death toll could rise.
“With each passing day, more and more Ukrainian children are facing the horrors of this war. (…) We find ourselves here again after another horrific attack, this time at a school in Lugansk – another shining example of contempt for life. Civilians.” UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi said.
“This is a strong reminder that education in Ukraine is also under attack this Thursday. In February, when the war broke out, the school year closed. Last week, at least 15 of the 89 – one in six – UNICEF-supported schools in eastern Ukraine were damaged or destroyed.” Reported.
According to UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, since the beginning of the war, hundreds of schools across the country have been hit by heavy artillery, airstrikes and other explosive weapons, while other schools are being used for other purposes, such as shelters. , Supply centers or military purposes, which will have a long-term effect on children’s return to education.
“These attacks must stop. All parties must fulfill their legal and moral obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, to respect international humanitarian law and human rights, as well as to ensure that children’s rights are respected,” he appealed.
Before the UN Security Council, Omar Abdi recalled that the war in Ukraine affects not only the children of this country, but also the poorest countries in the world, which now have to pay a “heavy price” for this war far from their doorsteps.
“The war in Ukraine has had a devastating effect on even the most vulnerable children around the world, as global food and fuel prices have reached all-time highs. We have to pay a heavy price for that, “he said.
Following UNICEF’s revelation, a number of UN diplomats have called on Russia to investigate and hold Russia accountable for its human rights abuses, and to urge Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to do what he can to ensure the rights of children.
According to Albanian Ambassador Ferrit Hoxar, an average of 22 schools have been attacked daily in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, disrupting the education of the country’s remaining 5.5 million children.
“A few days ago, after the destruction of a school used as a shelter in the village of Belohorivka in the Lugansk region, more than 60 people were reported killed in the Russian bombing. There is no justification for such recklessness,” Hoxha pleaded. For a “full” investigation and accountability of the incident.
French Ambassador Nicolas de Revier, one of the countries convened at this Thursday’s meeting, also considered the cost of the war for Ukrainian children “horrendous”, condemning various attacks on schools, killing and mutilation of children, which have been classified. “Serious Violations of Humanitarian Law and the Rights of the Child”.
“France urges the Secretary-General to use all procedures established by the Security Council to verify the information and establish its responsibilities,” Riviere said.
Ukrainian diplomat Sergei Kislyas has condemned Russia’s continued “abduction of Ukrainian children,” including orphans, forcibly taking them into Russian territory and keeping them for adoption.
Describing the separation of parents and children in Ukraine and several attacks on schools, Kislyas said Russia was committing a number of violations of international humanitarian law, calling on the country to be held accountable.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that killed more than 3,000 civilians, according to the United Nations, which warned that the actual number could be much higher.
According to the latest UN figures, the military strike has killed more than 13 million people, including more than 5.5 million outside the country.
The Russian aggression was generally condemned by the international community, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and imposing economic and political sanctions on Moscow.