The Coalition for Children’s Rights is deeply concerned about the current human rights abuses and the severe and lasting impacts that the on-going attacks in Gaza are likely to have on children. We condemn the on-going attacks, particularly those impacting on children, and urge both sides in the conflict to call an immediate ceasefire.
The Coalition endorses the statement below which was issued by UNICEF on Thursday 24th July 2014:
“There is nowhere safe for children and their families in Gaza right now,” said Pernille Ironside, UNICEF’s Head of Office in Gaza and a specialist in child protection during emergencies.
“We need civilians to be protected and safe humanitarian access to help people in desperate need. We need a ceasefire. We need a sustainable solution for Gaza so this does not keep happening every other year.”
“There are lasting emotional and physical scars that children are bearing across Gaza Strip. I saw 4-year-old Shima in the hospital the other day. And she was longing for her mother and her siblings, all of whom died as they were seeking shelter, leaving their home in search of a safer place. Only Shima and her father survived.”
During the last 24 hours, 15 Palestinian children have been reported killed throughout Gaza. Since the onset of hostilities, at least 181 Palestinian children have been reported killed as a result of airstrikes and shelling. The youngest was a three-month old baby. Two-thirds of the children killed were younger than 13 years old.
A UN-run school filled with displaced families was reportedly hit by shelling this morning. Ten people were reported killed and more than 100 wounded.
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is posing a serious threat to children and exacerbating already dire humanitarian conditions for families who were suffering from a lack of basic services and a fuel crisis.
On behalf of the Coalition for Children’s Rights:
World Vision Ireland
The Coalition for Children’s Rights was established in 2012 by a group of development, humanitarian and advocacy organisations in order to advocate for children’s rights in development and humanitarian situations. Its aim is to ensure that children’s rights are prioritised by the Irish government and by the international community in all policies, budgets and practices relating to overseas development and emergency endeavours.