UNICEF says Colombia conflict has affected over 250,000 children

More than 250,000 children have been affected by the conflict in Colombia since peace talks between the government and rebel group FARC started three years ago, said a UN report released Saturday.


National data show that out of 7.6 million people in Colombia who are registered as victims of the conflict, 2.5 million, about one third of the population, are children, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in its report Childhood in the Time of War: Will the children of Colombia know peace at last?

Since January 2013, more than 250,000 children have been affected by the conflict, including 230,000 who were displaced, said the report.

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been holding peace talks in Havana, the Cuban capital since November, 2012. The negotiations are trying to end a conflict which has raged for 52 years, left 220,000 people dead, 45,000 missing and around 6 million people displaced.

UNICEF said though peace talks have helped improve the situation on the ground, widespread violence and persistent fighting between different warring parties continue to put children’s lives at risk.

In this regard, the UN agency urged parties to the conflict to put children’s interests first and to release every child below the age of 18 from armed groups. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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