New U.N. Report on Syria: 10,000 Children Killed

February 5, 2014

By

Michael Sandler

The U.N. has released a harrowing new report that documents the extent of the suffering experienced by Syria's children during three years of conflict.

Children have endured "acts of terror" and "grave violations," the report states. They have been sexually abused and tortured, used as human shields and recruited as child soldiers. More than 10,000 children have been killed.

The report comes amid accounts of new weapons being unleashed by government helicopters on civilian neighborhoods, such as terribly destructive "barrel bombs."

Boys and girls as young as 11 have been detained by government forces, and while imprisoned, suffered beatings, electric shocks, sleep deprivation and rape. Both sides to the conflict have engaged in the "summary execution of children."

The report was presented to the U.N. Security Council last week and released publicly this Monday. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described it as showing "unspeakable and unacceptable suffering."

UNICEF efforts to aid the more than 5 million children affected by the conflict continue with an immediate focus on helping Syrian families survive bitter winter temperatures.

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A Syrian girl and boy walk across the muddy grounds of the Bab Al Salame displacement camp in Aleppo Governorate. A Syrian girl and boy walk across the muddy grounds of the Bab Al Salame displacement camp in Aleppo Governorate.  ©UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0015/Diffidenti