Press centre


Unspeakable violence against children in South Sudan – UNICEF chief

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on brutal violence against children in South Sudan

NEW YORK, 17 June 2015 – “The violence against children in South Sudan has reached a new level of brutality. 
“The details of the worsening violence against children are unspeakable, but we must speak of them. 
“As many as 129 children from Unity State were killed during only three weeks in May.  Survivors report that boys have been castrated and left to bleed to death …  Girls as young as 8 have been gang raped and murdered …  Children have been tied together before their attackers slit their throats ...  Others have been thrown into burning buildings.
“Children are also being aggressively recruited into armed groups of both sides on an alarming scale – an estimated 13,000 children forced to participate in a conflict not of their making.  Imagine the psychological and physical effects on these children – not only of the violence inflicted on them but also the violence they are forced to inflict on others. 

 “In the name of humanity and common decency this violence against the innocent must stop.” 


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

Download multimedia content from South Sudan at:

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

For further information please contact:

Chris Tidey, UNICEF New York, +1 917 909 9542,




New enhanced search