UNICEF: Lebanon crisis puts 1 million children at risk of violence
A report published by UNICEF shows that one in two children in Lebanon is at serious risk of physical, emotional, or sexual violence, amid the country's ongoing economic crisis.
Lebanon's ongoing economic crisis is causing abuse against children to soar and is putting one child out of two at risk of violence, the UN said on Friday.
"One in two children in Lebanon is at serious risk of physical, emotional, or sexual violence, as families struggle to cope in the country’s deepening crisis," the UN Children's Fund highlighted.
A new report released by UNICEF showed that the number of cases of child abuse and exploitation handled by the agency and its partners increased up by 44 percent over the past year.
A report by UNICEF - #ViolentBeginnings - notes that new threats to children in #Lebanon are being documented as families become increasingly desperate.— uniceflebanon (@UNICEFLebanon) December 17, 2021
Read our press release:https://t.co/UoyX8unoQ5
Download full report: https://t.co/XBNe5okRxR @UN_EndViolence#EndViolence
The crisis has also led to a surge in domestic violence against women and girls, UNICEF explained, adding that the crisis was also causing damage to children's mental health.
The report said new threats against children were appearing such as "destitute families abandoning babies in the streets and children facing increased risk of abduction."
"With stress simmering at home, a lack of regular school routine during COVID-19 lockdowns and a decline in social services, at least one million children in Lebanon are at risk of direct violence," the report highlighted.
For her part, Najat Maala M’jid, the U.N. special representative on violence against children, told AP that the current situation "is not acceptable and it is preventable, and I think we can’t really use the excuse for political and financial crisis to justify this violation of rights."
"Violence against children comes in different forms. Child marriage and child labour rob girls and boys of their childhood and evidence shows that children in these situations are at greater risk of experiencing different forms of violence." - SRSG VAC Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid. pic.twitter.com/snV9Ei3ZwO— uniceflebanon (@UNICEFLebanon) December 17, 2021
The Lebanese currency has been diminishing since the 2019 crisis, at the beginning of which $1 USD was equal to 1500 LBP.
The currency lost 90% of its value in two years and four out five Lebanese are living under the UN's poverty threshold.