London: Nearly two million children have become the victims of bloody conflict in Syria, with many suffering from trauma, malnutrition and disease, a report has warned.
Save the Children warned that the catastrophic war in Syria has caused a `collapse in childhood`.
It cited research revealing that one in three children reported having been hit, kicked or shot at, as fighting between rebels and soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad has engulfed the entire country.
According to the Guardian, the report, Childhood Under Fire, was launched to coincide with the second anniversary of Syria`s anti-Assad uprising.
The report has painted a grim picture of how children have been targeted in the war and shows that many are struggling to find enough to eat.
The research, by Bahcesehir University in Turkey, includes harrowing testimony from refugee children, some of whom have seen their parents arrested, beaten and killed by regime forces, the report said.
The report suggests the conflict has had a disastrous effect on youngsters. Armed militias are using boys as porters, runners and human shields, and bringing them to the frontline.
The report warned that girls are being married off by their parents early to `protect` them from the widely perceived threat of sexual violence, the report said.
The findings follow a report by UNICEF, which said that the future of a whole generation of Syrian children was `disappearing under the rubble,` the report added.