UN: Syria children suffer cruel abuse in war

2014-02-05 15:02
A woman and her children stand scared outside their home following a reported Syrian government forces air strike in the northern city of Aleppo. (Fadi al-Halabi, AFP)

A woman and her children stand scared outside their home following a reported Syrian government forces air strike in the northern city of Aleppo. (Fadi al-Halabi, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

United Nations - Children enduring the war in Syria have suffered terrible abuses, with the government and allied militia responsible for many killings, maiming and torture, according to a grim UN report.

Rebels have also recruited youngsters as soldiers and used terror tactics in civilian areas, according to the UN's first report on this area of the conflict that was released to the Security Council on Tuesday.

It detailed gruesome incidents of torture including children being raped or beaten with metal cables, suffering electric shocks to the genitals and having their fingernails ripped out.

"Violations must come to an end now," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in the report.

"I therefore urge all parties to the conflict to take, without delay, all measures to protect and uphold the rights of all children in Syria."

The report covered the period from 1 March 2011 to 15 November last year in a conflict that has now left more than 135 000 people dead.

It details a series of abuses Syrian children have suffered since the opposition rose up to try to depose President Bashar Assad.

They range from direct commission of abuse, including sexual violence, to more general violation of their rights, from school closures and denial of access to humanitarian aid, the UN website said, quoting from the report.

"The present report highlights that use of weaponry and military tactics that are disproportionate and indiscriminate by Government forces and associated militias has resulted in countless killings and the maiming of children, and has obstructed children's access to education and health services," Ban wrote.

"Government forces have also been responsible for the arrest, arbitrary detention, ill treatment and torture of children," he added.

"Armed opposition groups have been responsible for the recruitment and use of children both in combat and support roles, as well as for conducting military operations, including using terror tactics, in civilian-populated areas, leading to civilian casualties, including children."

The report highlights the disappearance of many children and says all parties to the war have seriously hampered delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas most affected by the fighting.

Ill-treatment, torture

It also warned that children have experienced a high level of distress by witnessing the killing and injuring of members of their families and peers, or of being separated from their family and/or displaced.

The report details the detention of children as young as 11 for alleged association with armed groups by government forces in large-scale arrest campaigns.

It says youngsters were ill-treated and tortured to extract confessions or humiliate them, or pressure a relative to surrender or confess.

"Ill treatment and acts tantamount to torture reportedly included beatings with metal cables, whips and wooden and metal batons; electric shock, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives," the report said.

"Reports indicate that children were also suspended from walls or ceilings by their wrists or other limbs, were forced to put their head, neck and legs through a tire while being beaten, and were tied to a board and beaten."

The report cites a 16-year-old boy as saying he witnessed a 14-year-old male friend being sexually assaulted and then killed. It notes other allegations that boys and in a few instances girls were raped.

The 16-year-old said children and adults were beaten with metal bars, their fingernails pulled out, their fingers cut. "Or they were beaten with a hammer in the back, sometimes until death," he added.

Allegations of sexual violence by opposition groups were also received, but the UN was unable to further investigate them due to lack of access, the report says.

Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  ban ki-moon  |  syria  |  syria conflict
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Roads Design Technologist

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town Engineering
R250 000 - R400 000 Per Year

Stockroom Controller - V&A Waterfront

Cape Town
Service Solutions Staffing

Accountant / Bookkeeper

Cape Town
Quantum Recruitment
R15 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.