Top of the Morning: Violence Against Children Reaches Horrific Levels in CAR

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Major NGOs Call for Humanitarian Access in Syria

As the Syrian peace conference gets underway, humanitarian organizations are calling for unfettered access to besieged populations. “The heads of seven of the world’s largest humanitarian and human rights organisation who are working on the crisis in Syria have called on the international community to step up efforts to provide humanitarian aid. ‘The Syrian government is meeting for the first time with representatives from the Syrian opposition in what will hopefully be the first steps towards a sustainable peace,’ the statement, signed by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International, Save the Children, World Vision, CARE USA and Mercy Corps, read…’Agreeing a negotiated peace is going to be difficult; however, committing to ensuring humanitarian aid reaches all those in need shouldn’t be.’”  (VOA

Violence Against Children Reaches Horrific Levels in CAR

The Security Council heard testimony today from UN experts who detailed an extreme level of brutality being visited upon children of CAR. Many have been forced to take up arms as child soldiers. Many more are targeted for attack or are not receiving adequate humanitarian assistance. “Nearly half a million children are among the almost 1 million driven from their homes in 13 months of violence, as many as 6,000 children may currently be associated with various armed forces and groups, and “today, the country is trapped in a spiral of vengeance, which has destroyed the social fabric and undermined trust among communities for generations to come,” [Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougi] said.” (UN News Center