Statement attributable to Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq
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ERBIL/SYDNEY, 5 June, 2017
– “We are receiving alarming reports of civilians including several children being killed in west Mosul. Some were reportedly killed as they desperately tried to flee the fighting which is intensifying by the hour.
“Children’s lives are on the line. Children are being killed, injured and used as human shields. Children are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness. In some cases, they have been forced to participate in the fighting and violence.
“An estimated 100,000 girls and boys remain in extremely dangerous conditions in the old city and other areas of west Mosul. Many are caught in the crossfire and hospitals and other medical facilities have reportedly come under attack.
“As the fighting continues, UNICEF calls on all parties in west Mosul to protect children and keep them out of harm’s way at all times, in line with their obligations under humanitarian law.
“Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and water systems should stop immediately.”
Notes to editors:
UNICEF is responding to the urgent protection needs of vulnerable children and families who are fleeing the conflict, including:
- Family reunification for children who have been separated from their parents or extended families,
- Legal representation for children who have been detained by security forces,
- Emergency psychosocial support and other specialized child protection assistance to distressed children.
UNICEF is also working with partners to pre-position emergency supplies including water and hygiene items along the various displacement routes to reach as many people as possible as they seek safety. In camps for the displaced, UNICEF is providing food, basic health services, water and hygiene items to support the most vulnerable children and families.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.au
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For more information please contact:
Sharon Behn Nogueira, UNICEF Iraq, +964 (0) 782 782 0238, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laila Ali, UNICEF Iraq, + 964 (0) 7809258542, email@example.com
Tamara Kummer, UNICEF MENA Regional Office, +962 797 588 550, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Gibbons, UNICEF Australia, 04 35206273, email@example.com