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Protecting children must be priority at Syria peace talks

Save the Children and other leading humanitarian agencies are calling for the Syria peace talks, which start in Geneva tomorrow, to urgently focus on the plight of children.

We’ve come together to call on all sides to agree to a 3 point plan to allow life-saving aid to reach children trapped inside Syria and prevent them from being the targets of violence.

More than 11,000 children have died in the conflict already, 71% of them killed indiscriminately by explosive weapons used in towns and cities.

Save the Children want participants at the Geneva II talks to make protecting children the first item on their agenda.

We are calling on all parties to commit to the following:

  • Allow life-saving aid to reach children inside Syria
  • Protect schools and health facilities
  • Prevent the use of explosive weapons in populated areas

Our Chief Executive, Justin Forsyth, said: “Every day in Syria, children are experiencing the brutality of war: injury, death and displacement.

“Scandalously, hundreds of thousands are trapped in besieged or hard-to-reach areas and receiving little or no aid.

“This tragedy is man-made, and it is within the power of the warring parties to stop it.

“The first item on the agenda at Geneva II must be protecting children. The parties have already demonstrated the power of political will when they began moving chemical weapons out of Syria.

“We need to see the same political will to ensure that even if the fighting continues, children and other civilians are no longer targeted.”

Save the Children and 14 other humanitarian agencies have signed the open letter, including Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Laureate, Tony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF and Antonio Gutteres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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