Official UNICEF Statement:
UNICEF condemns all violence against children and calls for an end to all forms of violence and abuse that have reportedly claimed the lives of over 50 children and injured many more during the public unrest in Iran.
“UNICEF also remains deeply concerned about continued raids and searches conducted in some schools. Schools must always be safe places for children.
“UNICEF has directly communicated our concerns to the authorities in Iran since the first cases of child casualties occurred in response to the protests.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children to life, privacy, freedom of thought, and peaceful assembly.
“UNICEF urges the authorities to respect the rights of all children to peaceful assembly as a fundamental guarantee – no matter who they are or where they are. The best interest of children should be at the centre of government action, creating ways where children can safely claim their rights in all circumstances. Children must remain with their families, communities and schools and not in places that deprive them of their liberty.
“We again echo the UN Secretary-General’s call to security forces to ‘refrain from using unnecessary or disproportionate force.’ Children and adolescents must be protected from all forms of harm that risk not only their lives and freedom, but also their mental and physical health.
“Too many mothers and fathers have experienced the devastating loss of a child from the unrest. We express our deepest sympathy to them, and to their loved ones and communities impacted by these events.
“UNICEF has worked in Iran for almost seven decades to support essential services for children such as health care, immunization, proper nutrition, access to education and protection. Millions of children and newborns in Iran have benefitted, helping children survive and grow into productive adults.
“Iran is fortunate to have a young population of children and adolescents who are a great resource for the country, now and in the future. Their needs, aspirations and wellbeing must be a priority under all circumstances.
“UNICEF remains committed to continuing our work with technical ministries and other partners alongside the UN agencies, to support the protection and realization of the rights of all children and adolescents in Iran.”
Sources: Nouvelles THX & UNICEF.