Millions of Children face violation of fundamental rights and are paying a horrendous price in Middle East Crisis

02 Nov 2023 by World Vision
Millions of Children face violation of fundamental rights and are paying a horrendous price in Middle East Crisis

International aid agency, World Vision, says the ongoing crisis in the Middle East is having an unprecedented impact on several millions of children in the region.

The organisation's Middle East Crisis Response Director, Asuntha Charles, says that we are watching as children’s fundamental rights to life and safety are violated.

She fears the world has lost perspective on its responsibilities to protect children impacted in several countries by the escalation in violence.

The organisation is calling for urgent and decisive action to ensure children are safe and have access to the protection, food, water, and health services they need.

The current conflict started with the attacks on Israel which killed more than 1,400 people and after three weeks of unprecedented and devastating violence across the region, more than 11,000 people have been killed, an estimated 4,000 of those children.

Countless others are living through pain and suffering and close to 1.5 million people have been displaced in at least three countries.

Asuntha Charles, the Response Director for World Vision’s Middle East Crisis Response says:

“We are shocked and saddened at the scale of death, destruction, and hardship that children are facing in the ongoing crisis which has engulfed the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel and nearby countries. It is clear that children are being failed and forgotten amidst the carnage and conflict.

“Conflict and all humanitarian crises disproportionately impact children, and the current crisis is an awful example of this.

“Large-scale violations of the rights of children have happened and continue to happen—things no child should ever have to imagine, let alone see or experience.

“Thousands of children have been killed thus far in the crisis, many more injured. Children have lost parents; others have lost entire families.

“There are children who currently have no or little access to food, or water, due to decisions made by adults.

“There are children who will face psychological distress from what they are experiencing during this crisis, from which they may never recover.

“Hundreds of thousands of families have had to make the decision to leave their homes. Children have been kidnapped from their families.

“Childhood should be about love, play and joy. For millions of children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel and across the region, there is only terror now. Fear of being killed by rockets, missiles or bullets, fear of being attacked at school or at home, the fear that food or water will run out.

“We fear the world has lost perspective of its responsibility to ensure that the most fundamental rights of all children are respected. A child's right to life, to be safe, to receive food and water, know no borders and there should be no exceptions for any child to these rights. The failure to protect them is inexcusable.

“In 2023, how are we still unable to ensure that no child has to experience heartbreaking violence and conflict? Yet today, in areas impacted by the crisis in the Middle East, children are paying the most horrendous price for the collective failings of adults.

“No one wants their child to endure life, or death, in a warzone today, or tomorrow. We are calling for immediate action to stop children from having to live in a conflict zone, and the necessary measures to be taken to ensure no child ever dies in a conflict zone again.”

World Vision is currently supporting vulnerable children in West Bank by responding to urgent family needs, creating safe spaces, and providing psychological services. They are also responding in other areas where displaced people will need help and will continue to support through the crisis. World Vision is not operating in Gaza and has not since 2016.