The United Nations said that over 10,000 children in Syria have been killed because of the nearly 3-year civil war, while many others have been subjected to acts of violence including torture, recruitment to combat and even rape.
Thousands of others have had to flee their home for safety, according to a new report that the Security Council released online this week.
Many others have been the victim of the heavy weapons used by government forces as well as militias in the battle against the rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, said the report.
However, the report added that both sides in the civil war are guilty of misusing and abusing children, with even the moderate opposition, the Free Syrian Army, recruiting children to take part in combat.
The UN report says the different torture methods inflicted upon the children included beating with whips, metal batons and metal cables; ripping out toenails and fingernails; electrical shock that included in the genitals; sexual violence that included threat of rape or rape; cigarette burns; mock executions; solitary confinement; sleep deprivation; and forcing them to watch relatives being tortured.
The report cited one boy who is 16 that said he witnessed his male friend who is 14 being sexually assaulted and later killed.
In the first two years, most of the maiming and killing of children was attributed to the government forces, said the report.
However, the opposition groups increasingly engaged in those acts during 2013, due to increased access to weapons and the use of tactics involving terror.
When Ban Ki-moon the secretary-general of the UN received the document, he urged that all parties involved in the conflict start, without delay, every measure needed to protect the safety and uphold the rights of every child in Syria.
The report noted also that all of the parties to the war have hampered the access of humanitarian assistance into the areas that are most affected by the ongoing fighting. It warned that children were experiencing the highest levels of distress due to witnessing firsthand the injuring and killing of family members as well as peers or the separation from family and being displaced.