The Central African Republic, long overshadowed by conflict in neighboring Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has made significant progress in recent weeks to address its child soldier crisis.

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The scale of war crimes affecting Somali children, including the systematic recruitment of child soldiers under 15 by armed Islamist groups, has been exposed in a new report by Amnesty International today.

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The Security Council today, recognizing schools and hospitals as safe havens for children, called for all parties to conflict that attack such facilities to be held accountable and that they be added to the list published annually by the United Nations of those who commit grave violations against children.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his concern over the growing number of attacks on schools and hospitals and threats to children in armed conflicts around the world, stating that the United Nations is considering targeted measures against those who commit such crimes.

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A senior United Nations official today hailed the action plan signed by the Government of Chad to end the use of children by the country’s security forces, while highlighting important next steps on the path to eradicating the scourge of child soldiers.

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has draw attention to what it describes as grave violations of children’s rights that are taking place every day in Somalia, which has been wracked by factional warfare since the collapse of the government 20 years ago.

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Violence in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has driven the number of child casualties to a new high, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today, noting that the main cause of children’s deaths were burns, chest injuries and internal haemorrhage resulting from blasts, shrapnel and bullets.

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An increasing number of parties to armed conflicts around the world are deliberately attacking schools or forcing them to close in a disturbing and growing trend, according to a United Nations report released today.

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A new United Nations report voices serious concern about the continued recruitment of children by armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) and calls for measures to address the ongoing “protection crisis” in the country.

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“Despite outcry from the international community, children continue to be the victims of the conflict in Libya. Last month, I called on all parties in Libya to protect children and to ensure that none were associated with any armed forces or groups. However, credible information on recruitment and use of children continues to be received by my Office daily.

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