European parliamentarians mark third year of Syrian conflict and mobilize for children of Syria
STRASBOURG, France, 12 March 2014 - Leading Members of the European Parliament today joined ‘No Lost Generation’, the global initiative launched by UNICEF and other organisations to mark the third year of the Syrian conflict, with a call on world leaders to support the children of Syria.
“Children must never be targeted or recruited to take any part in the conflict,” Vice-President Roberta Angelilli said during a side event of a plenary session of the European Parliament. “Protecting children, their schools, playgrounds and health centres is an obligation for all parties to the conflict.”
“Syria’s children and their families have suffered far too much,” said Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for Human Rights & Democracy. “Despite all the suffering, children always show an astonishing ability to recover and heal, but time is running out,” he added. “The international community must ensure that Syrian children have access to education as soon as possible if we want to avoid a vicious cycle of violence in the region. By acting now we can make sure Syria's children have a future.”
Belgian Member of the European Parliament Veronique De Keyser voiced concern for the situation of child refugees and their host communities: “Syrian refugees are overwhelmingly settling in poor communities, adding to the strain on already over-burdened health, education, water and hygiene services. We should do our utmost to support them.”
The European Parliament had already endorsed the ‘No Lost Generation’ initiative, with a resolution adopted in February encouraging the EU to actively support this strategy. In their resolution, parliamentarians called for “zero tolerance with regard to the killing, abduction and recruitment of children” and urge “all parties to the conflict to comply fully with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) of 26 July 2005 on children and armed conflicts”.
‘No Lost Generation’ proposes a package of investment in the education and psychological protection of all children affected by the conflict. Children need help to recover from the traumas they have faced and to acquire the skills they will need to help rebuild their country and strengthen the stability of the region.
Note to Editors:
The ‘No Lost Generation’ strategy seeks to support the children of Syria, who are affected by violence, displacement and lack of education, protection and opportunity. The strategy requests $1 billion in funding to reach 6 million children in Syria and neighboring countries with access to learning and 3 million children with direct protection support between now and December 2014.
A special website has been established at www.championthechildrenofsyria.org to show how investments in children can deliver important dividends, not just for the current victims of the war but for the longer-term future of Syria and the wider region.
Social media hashtag: #NoLostGeneration
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