Statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, on Bombings in Homs, Syria

“Innocent children are once again victims of the brutal Syrian conflict. I am appalled by yesterday’s school attacks in the city of Homs, in Syria, that reportedly killed over 30 people and injured dozens more, a majority of them children.

The perpetrator directly targeted schoolchildren and timed his attack to inflict maximum casualties. This is a new low in a conflict in which warring parties have already caused immense suffering to the country’s children.

Attacks on schools and hospitals have become a feature of the Syrian conflict and deprive millions of children of their right to education and health. Since 2011, over 3 million children have dropped out of school. Thousands of schools inside Syria have closed their doors because they have been destroyed, damaged, or are now used for military purposes or as shelter for families forced to abandon their homes.

Targeting schools and schoolchildren is a grave violation of international humanitarian law. Even in times of war, schools and hospitals must remain safe places for learning and healing. I call on all parties to the conflict to end such attacks and for perpetrators to be brought to justice.”

For additional information, please contact:

Stephanie Tremblay
Communications officer, Office of the Special Representative
for Children and Armed Conflict
+1 917 288 5791
tremblay@un.org

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