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UN reports claims children killed in conflict within one year

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UN reports claims children killed in conflict within one year

UN reports claims children killed in conflict within one year

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  • UN rights chief Volker Turk criticized warring parties for pushing beyond acceptable boundaries.
  • Other conflicts highlighted include those in Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.
  • The gap between humanitarian funding requirements and available resources stands at $40.8 billion as of May 2024.
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The UN reported on Tuesday that global conflicts killed three times as many children and twice as many women in 2023 compared to the previous year, with overall civilian fatalities increasing by 72 percent.

United Nations rights chief Volker Turk told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that warring parties were increasingly “pushing beyond boundaries of what is acceptable — and legal.”

They are showing “utter contempt for the other, trampling human rights at their core,” he said. “Killings and injuries of civilians have become a daily occurrence. Destruction of vital infrastructure a daily occurrence.”

“Children shot at. Hospitals bombed. Heavy artillery was launched on entire communities. All along with hateful, divisive, and dehumanizing rhetoric.”

The UN rights chief stated that his office had gathered data indicating that last year, civilian deaths in armed conflict soared by 72 percent.

“Horrifyingly, the data indicates that the proportion of women killed in 2023 doubled and that of children tripled, compared to the year prior,” he said.

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In the Gaza Strip, Turk said he was “appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law by parties to the conflict” and “unconscionable death and suffering.”

Since the war erupted after Hamas’s unprecedented attack inside Israel on October 7, he said “more than 120,000 people in Gaza, overwhelmingly women and children, have been killed or injured … as a result of the intensive Israeli offensives.”

“Since Israel escalated its operations into Rafah in early May, almost one million Palestinians have been forcibly displaced yet again, while aid delivery and humanitarian access deteriorated further,” he said.

Turk also highlighted a range of other conflicts, including those in Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.

Regarding Sudan, which has been engulfed in a civil war lasting more than a year, he warned that two warring parties and affiliated groups were “destroying the country in front of our eyes” and had flagrantly disregarded the rights of their people.

Such devastation occurs as funding to assist the growing numbers of people in need is dwindling.

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“As of the end of May 2024, the gap between humanitarian funding requirements and available resources stands at $40.8 billion,” Turk said.

“Appeals are funded at an average of 16.1 percent only,” he said.

“Contrast this with the almost $2.5 trillion in global military expenditure in 2023, a 6.8 percent increase in real terms from 2022,” Turk said, stressing that “this was the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009.”

“In addition to inflicting unbearable human suffering, war comes with a hefty price tag,” he said.

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