Afghanistan: Children Made up a Third of Civilian Casualties so Far This Year

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 27, 2020)—Following the release of the UN’s Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Midyear Report on Afghanistan, Save the Children has issued the following statement.

Milan Dinic, Country Director for Save the Children in Afghanistan, said:

“Afghanistan’s conflict is taking a terrible toll on the country’s children, at least 340 of whom lost their lives since January. More than 700 were wounded, many with life-changing injuries like amputations or head trauma, not to mention the invisible yet equally damaging post-traumatic stress many children are suffering from.

“The vast majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan were caused by indirect fire or improvised explosives in populated areas. This is extremely concerning and is an indictment of all parties who have so far failed to abide by international humanitarian law to protect civilians from harm.

“These past few months have been some of the deadliest in recent times, with a spike in the number of attacks that have killed or injured civilians. At a time when Afghanistan should be focusing on the COVID-19 outbreak and its devastating effects on the economy and the livelihoods of millions, the extreme violence is causing untold distress and preventing children from accessing education, healthcare, and other vital services.

“Attacks on civilians—especially children—can never be tolerated. Not only do they kill and injure innocent people, they also impact the longer-term physical, emotional, and mental development of children.”

“Save the Children condemns all attacks on civilians and we call upon all parties in Afghanistan to do everything in their power to protect children.”

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