London: Reports of the ‘shocking’ scale of brutality against youngsters in Syria show that no child in the country is safe from the 16-month-old bloody conflict, a UK-based NGO has said.
According to War Child, young Syrians were being deliberately murdered in execution-style killings, raped, abused, used as human shields and even enlisted against their will to fight.
The report said the Syrian conflict was ‘disturbingly unique’ in its deliberate targeting of children, warning that no child was now safe, The Telegraph reports.
Rob Williams, chief executive of War Child, which is providing emergency assistance to Syrian children refugees in Lebanon, said the ‘Syrian conflict must now rank as one of the worst for the depth and scale of abuses against children.’
"When adults go to war they have a legal duty to protect children yet neither side is protecting children in the areas they control,” Williams said.
“In fact, there are deliberate violations of thousands of innocent children including murder, rape and abduction. These actions will scar Syria for generations,” he added.
The organisation said that it believed between 500 and 1,300 children had been killed, while eight-year-olds were being enlisted as soldiers.
Girls and boys aged 12 have been sexually abused, more than 600 children have been placed in detention centres where torture is commonplace and 49 children were massacred in one incident, the NGO said in its report.