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European parliamentarians mark third year of Syrian conflict and mobilize for children of Syria

© European Union 2014 EP
(R-L) Michèle Dominique Raymond, ACP Group of States; Edward McMillian-Scott, EP Vice-President; Anna-Maria Corazza Bildt, EP Member; Véronique De Keyser, EP Member; Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, EP Member; Roberta Angelilli, EP Vice President

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 parliamentarian Veronique De Keyser, who is the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the eradication of torture in the world, added: “Witnesses have reported children and infants killed by snipers, victims of summary executions or torture. Protecting children is not only a moral duty, but a binding obligation for all parties to the conflict under international humanitarian law. Violence against children is unacceptable and must end without delay."

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

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: www.unicef.org.

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For further information, please contact:

Rebekka Opfermann, UNICEF Brussels, Tel: +32 2 505 01 06, Mobile: +32 492 93.37.43, ropfermann@unicef.org




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