Virginia Gamba, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, has raised concerns over the security of children in Afghanistan saying that high levels of violence endured by children in Afghanistan are rising, a report said.

“Afghanistan continues to be one of the most dangerous places for a child to live and grow. I am appalled by the continuing and rising high levels of violence endured by children in Afghanistan, including those caught up in combat,” the International Forum For Rights And Security (IFFRAS) said in its report. The midyear report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is of also very high concern. It showed a significant increase in child casualties between January 1 to June 30 this year.

Child casualties comprised about 32 per cent of all civilian casualties, of which 20 per cent were boys and 12 per cent were girls. In numbers, these were recorded as 1,682 child casualties, a 55 per cent increase as compared to the first six months of 2020. Girl casualties nearly doubled, marking the highest level ever recorded by UNAMA, and boy casualties too increased by 36 per cent, according to IFFRAS.

In July, the Fifth Report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, highlighted 6,473 grave violations against 6,131 children during the two-year reporting period from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020, with nearly half attributed to the Taliban. The most prevalent violation remained killing and maiming.

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, had also rightly issued a warned the Taliban that the vast majority of grave violations against children were “committed by the Taliban”. “I condemn the armed group’s practices and call upon the Taliban to swiftly take all measures to halt the increased recruitment and use of children and abide by national directives prohibiting the recruitment and use of children.”