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Children do not start conflicts – they deserve and need peace, EU says on World Children’s Day

On World Children’s Day, celebrated on 20 November, the EU said it was particularly concerned for the well-being of children living in situations of armed conflict, forced displacement and protracted humanitarian crises. 

“Unfortunately, our television screens and social media feeds are full of the daily horrors inflicted upon children around the world – be it from Gaza to Ukraine, terrorist attacks in Israel, from the Sahel region to Yemen and Myanmar,” said a statement by the European Commission and EU High Representative Josep Borrell. “Children do not start conflicts; they deserve and need peace.”

The European Commission said children affected by armed conflict suffered from grave violations of their rights, including abduction, killing and maiming, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of access to humanitarian aid. 

“Children are inherently more vulnerable to the immediate and longer-term consequences of such emergencies, which increase their vulnerability to trafficking, threaten their physical and mental health, deprive them of access to basic social services, health care, education, and parental care, and undermine their right to life, development, and opportunities to reach their full potential,” the statement said.

The EU underlined that it supported child protection in its external action through political dialogue with partner countries and by funding a wide range of programmes promoting children’s rights.

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