Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2013 – Thirty children were killed in Syria yesterday, most of them from Qaboon, Damascus, in what could be described as a systematic and targeted attack. This horrifying incident points to yet another war crime by the Assad forces.
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations in 1959, states that every child (regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family) shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation (articles 1 and 9). The Assad regime’s targeted crimes against the children of Syria clearly violate this declaration.
Furthermore, The International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force in 1990, sets out to further protect the rights of children. Nations that ratify this convention are bound to it by international law. Syria is a signatory of this convention, however the Assad regime has not only neglected the rights of the child, but has used children as human shields, and targeted playgrounds and schools with aerial strikes. Thousands of Syrian children have been killed and thousands more are wounded with serious physical and psychological injuries due to the Assad regime’s violence against its own people.
Even more horrifying, the Assad regime has let loose the Shabiha militias who slaughter children based on racial grounds, and subject Syrian children to the worst, and most heinous treatment. Tragically, hundreds of children have been detained in the horrifying prisons of Syria. There are over 80 documented cases of children who have died under torture in these prisons.
The Syrian Coalition calls on the United Nations, and Ms. Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children, to immediately enforce the necessary legal measures to bring to justice those responsible for these crimes against children. We ask the international community to fulfill its humanitarian responsibility and take immediate action to save the children of Syria from Assad’s oppressive military machine. The Syrian children must be protected from a regime that continuously fails to comply with international conventions on the protection of children during armed conflicts.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.