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'European leaders must act to protect children in Aleppo'

PACE rapporteur Sevinj Fataliyeva (Azerbaijan, EC) has called on European governments to step up their action to protect and support children concerned by the armed conflict in Syria, in particular in Aleppo.

Ms Fataliyeva, who is also the Assembly’s rapporteur on “Protecting children and young people affected by armed conflicts”, was speaking after repeated news reports this week pointed to the dramatic situation of the children remaining in Aleppo. “According to international estimates roughly 100,000 children are caught in the conflict zone, many of whom have no chance to escape the city which continues to be bombed by armed forces.”

“Following the UN Summit on Refugees and Migration held in New York on 19 September 2016, European governments must do their utmost to promote political solutions to end the conflict, and – in the meantime – support humanitarian organisations present in Syria by providing them with the resources required to protect children and their families. Proportionally to their own means and resources, they should also offer help to Syrian refugees whilst the conflict is lasting.” In a debate to be held on Thursday 13 October, the Parliamentary Assembly will be addressing the specific situation of unaccompanied migrant minors.

“Children are the most vulnerable and defenceless party in these lasting conflicts and their fate must be given all the attention required by wealthier and peaceful countries of Europe”, Ms Fataliyeva insisted.