NEW YORK, 16 December 2014 – The massacre today of more than 100 children in an attack on a school in Pakistan, and the reported killing of at least 15 school girls in a car bombing in Yemen, mark a dark day in the closing weeks of a bleak year for children around the world.
There can be no justification for such unspeakable savagery against children as they go about the simple act of going to school, or against teachers as they work to educate them. Each life taken in Peshawar and Al Bayda today is a future lost forever.
"UNICEF extends our heartfelt sympathy to the families of the children who have been lost," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF's Executive Director. "We mourn with them."
Repeatedly this year, schools have been targets of violence, with students, teachers, and school staff paying a terrible price. And throughout 2014, children have been affected as never before in recent memory by violence and extreme hatred, with some 230 million children living in countries affected by conflict.
These tragedies underscore why 2015 must be the year when protecting children against violence of every kind, whether in conflict or in peace, whether in school or at home, and in every circumstance, becomes a global priority.