Al-Shammat, Zerrougui Discuss Ways of Protecting Children in Armed Conflict

DAMASCUS, (ST)- The issue of children being the major victims of armed conflicts has been one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Within this framework, Dr. Kinda al-Shammat, the Minister of Social Affairs and Head of the Higher Relief Committee, held a meeting on Monday with a UNICEF delegation represented by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui, UN Program Officer Alec Wargo and the Public Information Officer  Stephanie Tremblay.

Dr. al-Shammat and the guest delegation discussed issues relating to the protection of children and underage individuals, in terms of their health and psychological conditions in the light of the incredibly increasing number of displaced families and the difficulties facing the issue of documenting violations of children's rights.

Al-Shammat affirmed that the Syrian state has issued resolute legislations against all who exploit children in military operations.

"The government provides care for the victims who were exposed to the armed gangs' attacks," al-Shammat said, adding that the Syrian Arab Army and the civil defense institution believe that the issue of protecting the people from non-Syrian outsiders is a duty, and "we trust their efforts".

The minister concluded by saying that "We are keen to reactivate the Witnesses Protection Program in order to document violations against children."

H. Mustafa