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Statement attributable to Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq on the children of Mosul

2016-11-04

ERBIL, 4 November 2016 – “An estimated 2,500 children and their families have arrived in the past 24 hours at camps south east of Mosul as Iraqi forces today for the first time entered the city streets and intensified their battle to retake Mosul.

“Last night and today we have seen the single largest displacement of people since the start of the 17 October military operation. UNICEF estimates that more than 2,500 children, including children with physical disabilities, are among the roughly 5,200 people who arrived at camps in the past 24 hours.

“One mother of five who fled from Gogjali on the edges of Mosul said she was happy that they had arrived safely, but said her children were scared and traumatized by what they had been through. Another described how they had fled with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

“As the violence continues to escalate we are concerned over the protection of children as violence likely to escalate further. UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict to protect children inside Mosul.

“We are especially concerned over reports that children and women are being used as human shields and call on all parties to respect the rights of women and children, who are paying a heavy price for a conflict not of their making.”

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.

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