Syria war has affected 2 million children, says charity
Syria's two-year-old conflict has afflicted some 2 million children trapped inside the country with malnutrition, disease and trauma, a London-based charity said Wednesday, dpa reported.
Young boys are being used "as porters, runners and human shields" by armed groups, while some girls are being married off early to protect them from a widely perceived threat of sexual violence, said Save the Children.
In the report "Childhood under Fire" the organization said many children were struggling to find "enough to eat, living in barns, parks and caves, and are unable to go to school."
"For millions of Syrian children, the innocence of childhood has been replaced by the cruel realities of trying to survive this vicious war," said the organization's president Carolyn Miles.
"We cannot allow this to continue unchecked, the lives of too many children are at stake," Miles added.
The charity, which is providing humanitarian relief in Syria and neighbouring countries, called on all parties to the conflict to allow "unfettered, safe access to populations in need and to ensure that everything is done to bring the fighting to an end."
More than 70,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, according to the United Nations.