UNICEF warns of the danger children face in the “relentless” Libyan war


The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the vulnerability of children in the context of the “relentless” conflict in Libya, where minors “continue to suffer deeply from the impact of violence and chaos” unleashed after the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The situation “has deteriorated further” since April 2019, when forces loyal to the Government of Eastern Libya, led by Jalifa Haftar, launched an offensive to regain control of Tripoli, said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore , it's a statement.

UNICEF warns of the danger children face in the “relentless” Libyan war
UNICEF warns of the danger children face in the “relentless” Libyan war

“The indiscriminate attacks in populated areas have caused hundreds of deaths,” he added, taking stock of a conflict that has left dead and injured, as well as recruitment of children by belligerent actors. Of the 150,000 people who had to leave their homes because of the offensive, 90,000 would be children.

Fore has also focused on the 60,000 migrant and refugee children currently living in urban areas, especially the 15,000 who are alone and all those held in detention centers, facilities where all kinds of abuse would occur.

“These children already had limited access to protection and essential services, so the escalation of the conflict has only amplified the risks they face,” Fore added in a statement.

The head of UNICEF has pointed out that neither theoretically protected infrastructure as schools has been left out of violence, since about 30 buildings have been damaged and 13 have been closed. Almost 200,000 children have stopped going to class.

UNICEF's call precedes the summit that Berlin will host on Sunday and will discuss solutions to the current political and military tensions in Libya. Fore has called to “urgently reach a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement for the good of each and every child in Libya.”

“Today, children in Libya are in a serious and unsustainable situation that the rest of the world should consider unacceptable,” said the head of the UN agency, who has advocated putting the safety and welfare of children above any other consideration.

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