Vatican City, Aug 17, 2016 / 05:03 am
After a recent report confirmed that violence against children has increased in conflict zones, the Holy See is urging the United Nations and local governments to protect the innocent youth who are caught in the crossfire of violence around the world.
“Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such violent brutality: children used as soldiers, suicide bombers, sex slaves, and disposable intelligence-gatherers in the most dangerous military operations,” read a recent statement from Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.
“These crimes must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said.
The archbishop's statements came during the United Nation's Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, which took place on Aug. 2 and was organized by the country of Malaysia.
The council reviewed the Secretary General's report on children caught in armed conflict, which confirmed that the 2015 year had only brought “increased intensity of grave violations.”
The report also noted that tens of thousands of young girls and boys have fallen prey to forced recruitment, sexual violence, and torture amidst the chaos of conflict zones. Over four thousand abductions had been reported in 2015 alone.
Although some progress such as counter-terror legislation has been passed in many instances, Archbishop Auza urged the UN and local governments to do more. He suggested a reintegration program for recovering child-soldiers and victims of sexual abuse as a way to heal the wounds inflicted on the innocent.
“A solution to the plight of children caught in armed conflict, in particular of child soldiers, requires sensitivity to finding ways to reintegrate these children back into their own communities,” the archbishop said.