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Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, deploring continued attacks on children in Syria

© UNICEF/UN041531/anonymous
On 13 November 2016, children at a make-shift school in rural Dar'a in the Syrian Arab Republic. Despite the ongoing violence across the country, children and dedicated teachers are doing all they can to keep their education going.

AMMAN, 23 March 2017 – "As another round of peace talks starts in Geneva today, we are appalled that children throughout Syria continue to come under attack.
"Reports yesterday of an attack on a school in Ar-Raqqa in the north east of Syria remind us once again that we are failing the children of Syria. We have been failing them for more than 2,200 days already.
"In recent days, hostilities have intensified throughout the country, from Damascus and Rural Damascus, to Aleppo, Hama and Ar-Raqqa. Scores of civilians were killed and injured. Families are being forced to leave their homes in search of safety.
"According to reports, the attack on the school in Ar-Raqqa currently sheltering internally displaced families has killed 53 civilians including 12 children.
"Children are being deprived of their basic right to life. They are being denied their right to an education.
"Those events remind us once again that there is no safe place for children in Syria. Children are under attack.
“All parties to the conflict and those with influence must redouble their efforts to find a political solution to end a conflict that is leaving nothing but death and destruction in its path.

“Those meeting in Geneva this week should put the rights of children at the centre of all their deliberations – the right of every boy and girl to be protected, the right to receive life-saving humanitarian assistance no matter where they are and the right to an education.

"UNICEF reminds all parties engaged militarily in Syria that it is their responsibility to protect and safeguard the lives of children and their families. Civilian infrastructure including schools and hospitals should be protected, no matter who controls the area.


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 for children visit www.unicef.org

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For more information contact:
Sushan Mebrahtu, UNICEF Syria, +963 992 892 864, shmebrahtu@unicef.org
Malene Jensen, UNICEF Amman, +962 (0) 79 109 6500, mjensen@unicef.org




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