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EHRC warns more children at risk due to recurrent conflicts in Ethiopia

EHRC warns more children at risk due to recurrent conflicts in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Human Right Commission (EHRC) warned that the ongoing conflict may leave millions of children at a new level of vulnerability.

In a statement the commission issued on Friday November 20, 2020 in connection with this year’s World’s Children Day, it urged the nation to extend its efforts to protect children from recurrent conflicts that have taken place in many localities across the nation.

According to the statement, the prevailing conflicts such as the one in Tigray, Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz and Southern nations regional states, have already burdened the rights and safety of children as food, water, education, and other essential services have been affected due to the conflicts.

“Shortage of basic supplies is increasing the vulnerability of children, while it also causes displacements, separation from parents, sexual violence and child exploitation, leading to the violation of children’s rights,” the statement explained.

The statement further indicated that internationally conducted studies found one in five children are vulnerable to the extended effects of conflicts.

The statement highlighted the growing trends of ethnic identity and religious based conflicts across Ethiopia.

Furthermore, the latest conflict in Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia is also included in the commission’s statement as posing further threat towards children’s rights.

Hence, the commission warned “these conflicts will cause more physical wounds, displacement, separation from parents, sexual violence, child labor exploitation, forced-child troop recruitment.”

In addition, it urged governmental and non-governmental organizations to do more in order to prevent conflicts from taking place, while they are also required to make greater efforts to address the current conflicts that have ravaged many parts of the country.

Earlier this week, the commission issued a similar statement regarding the killings of more than 34 people in Benishangul Gumz.

In its statement issued on November 14, 2020, the commission expressed its sadness over a “gruesome” attack on a passenger bus heading from Wonbera to Chagni (Debate Woreda) in Benishangul-Gumuz Region during the night of November 14th.