UNICEF has verified that almost 100 children were killed in Ukraine in April alone, but actual figures could be significantly higher with the conflict creating a child protection crisis, a top UNICEF official told the UN Security Council on Thursday.
"In just this past month, the UN verified that nearly 100 children were killed, and we believe the actual figures to be considerably higher," UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi said.
During his remarks at the UN Security Council Meeting on the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine, Abdi said, "More children have been injured and faced grave violations of their rights, millions more have been displaced," and added, "The war in Ukraine, like all wars, is a child protection and child rights crisis."
Abdi also said that "education is also under attack" and "schools continue to be used for military purposes."
"As of last week, at least 15 of 89 — one in six — UNICEF-supported schools in eastern Ukraine had been damaged or destroyed since the start of the war." he said and added, "Hundreds of schools across the country are reported to have been hit by heavy artillery, airstrikes, and other explosive weapons in populated areas."
"Schools are a lifeline for children, especially in conflict. Schools are a safe spaces, with routines providing protection from harm and a semblance of normalcy. Schools are also critical conduits for information about the risks of deadly explosive ordnance. And they are a connector to essential health and psychosocial services," he continued.