There has been a nearly three-fold rise in attacks on children in conflict over the last decade, UNICEF said on Monday.
The UN has verified more than 170,000 grave violations against children in war since 2010 – the equivalent of more than 45 violations each day for the last 10 years, the agency said.
Those include killing, maiming, sexual violence, abductions, denial of humanitarian access, child recruitment and attacks on schools and hospitals.
In 2018, the UN recorded more than 24,000 grave violations against children, nearly three times as many as in 2010.
In around half of those cases, children were killed or maimed by airstrikes and explosive weapons such as landmines and mortars.
UNICEF also noted that the number of countries blighted by war is the highest it has been in three decades.
“Conflicts around the world are lasting longer, causing more bloodshed and claiming more young lives,” the UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said.
“Attacks on children continue unabated as warring parties flout one of the most basic rules of war: the protection of children,” she said.
Fore added that many more acts of violence against children go unreported.
Children in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan were at particular risk in 2019, according to UNICEF.
The agency called on warring parties around the world to end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure.