Statement By Special Representative For Children And Armed Conflict On Developments In The Middle East And North Africa

OSRSG/060211-10

PRESS STATEMENT

Statement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict on developments in the Middle East and North Africa

New York, June 2 2011 – Children are being wounded and killed in military action and armed violence throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In Syria, we have witnessed the widely reported torture and execution of 13 year old Hamza al-Khatib as well as the killing of a 10 year old boy and a 4 year old girl in and around Homs.

The killing and maiming of children is a crime and is contrary to successive Security Council resolutions.

The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict condemns the torture and killing of children in the strongest possible terms.

Non-violent, democratic demonstrations are protected by international human rights laws and children participating in such demonstrations must not be the target of violence or abuse. Nevertheless, due to insecurity that prevails in these countries, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General urges adults taking part in such protest to leave their children at home.

“Children must be protected and their safety should be a consideration above politics.”

-Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy

For Further Information:

# # #

Timothy La Rose

Communications Officer

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

+1 917 346 3404

larose@un.org

Muriel Gschwend

Associate Communications Officer

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

+917 367 35 62

gschwend@un.org

Website:http://www.un.org/children/conflict

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