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This week in Parliament I was delighted to be able to contribute to this very important debate.

The Save the Children report published in Feb 2018 , The War on Children, makes for sobering reading indeed.

The sad fact is that children are not responsible for war, but pay the heaviest price. They may survive conflict but their innocence is murdered. War robs them of their sense of themselves, their homes and too often their parents.

It is an indictment of mankind as a species that the number of children living in a conflict zone has increased by more than 75% from the early 1990s when it was around 200million, to more than 357million children in 2016 – around one in six of the world’s children. 165million of these children are engulfed in high-intensity conflicts where there is often no access to schools or health facilities and are more exposed to violence.

The Middle East is where children are most likely to live in a conflict zone. In 2016, about 2 in 5 children in this region were living within 50km of a conflict event in their country. Africa is second with 1 in 5 children affected by conflict.

International global efforts must be directed towards real and concrete international action to ensure that children’s lives and safety are protected.

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