Afghanistan has the highest number of verified child casualties since 2005, said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), stressing children are dying and suffering because of the "callousness" and every effort should be made to keep these children safe from harm.

According to the UNICEF

  1. Afghanistan has the highest number of verified child casualties since 2005 accounting for 27 per cent of all verified child casualties globally, UNICEF said.
  2. Meanwhile, the Middle East and North Africa region has the highest number of verified attacks on schools and hospitals since 2005, with 22 such attacks verified in the first six months of this year.
  3. Year after year, parties to the conflict continue to demonstrate a dreadful disregard for the rights and wellbeing of children, UNICEF said.
  4. UNICEF also said that while the data for 2021 is not yet available, in 2020, 26,425 grave violations against children were verified by the UN.
  5. The first three months of 2021 saw a slight decrease in the overall number of verified grave violations, however, verified cases of abduction and sexual violence continued to rise at alarming rates - by more than 50 and 10 per cent, respectively - compared with the first quarter of the previous year.
  6. UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children's lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.