“Young children are abused as child soldiers and trained by “IS” militants, and many, especially girls, are sold as slaves and sexually abused in the international conflict provoked by this terrorist group. Once again, alongside other vulnerable civilians, including women, children are the main victims of the conflict”, warned Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP/CD), General Rapporteur on Children of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), referring to recent reports by the UN and in the international media.
“The international community needs to do the utmost to stop such horrendous crimes and human rights violations against children and other civilians involved”, the General Rapporteur demanded, calling upon Council of Europe member States to swiftly implement Assembly Resolution 2016 (2014) on “Threats against humanity posed by the terrorist group known as “IS”: violence against Christians and other religious or ethnic communities”. Governments should notably condemn the violent attacks on innocent people by “IS”, prevent their own citizens from joining or supporting the terrorist group, and step up their humanitarian action with regard to the current conflict on the Syrian-Turkish border.
To underline the urgency of a coordinated international response, Ms Kyriakides referred to the warning of the UN two days ago, about a possible “massacre if the city (of Kobani) falls, because even after a huge exodus of more than 200,000 refugees to Turkey there are still hundreds of civilians trapped inside”.