A new report from UNICEF says that an average of nine children are killed or maimed every day in Afghanistan this year.

The report, entitled “Preserving Hope in Afghanistan: Protecting children in the world’s most lethal conflict”, accuses the parties to the fighting, which has dragged on for some 40 years, of failing in their duty to protect children from its penalties.

The awful state of the country as currently the world’s worst killing field, is an acknowledgement of the nearly 6,500 child fatalities and almost 15,000 others injured between 2009 and 2018.

The rate of child casualties has increased by some 11 per cent since 2018, which the study puts down to factors such as a rise in suicide bomb attacks and ground engagements between pro and anti-government forces.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that Afghanistan’s grim standards shows 2019 as the deadliest year for children. Families and communities suffer the horrific consequences of conflict every day.

UNICEF reminded all parties to the conflict to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, which require them to protect children, end the targeting of schools and health centers and allow access to humanitarian assistance.

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