Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The United Nations on Monday said it has confirmed more than 10,000 children suffered violence in conflict zones over the first half of 2019, but believes final figure could come close to 2018, when more than 24,000 young people suffered from "grave violence."
UNICEF reported that there has been a three-fold increase in violence against children since 2010. The organization described "grave violations" as killing, maiming, abduction, sexual violence, recruitment into armed groups and strikes on schools and hospitals.
"Attacks on children continue unabated as warring parties flout one of the most basic rules of war: the protection of children," Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director, said in a statement.
The report said it is expected to see much higher violent incidents against children involving conflict zones in northern Syria to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and eastern Ukraine.
"Conflicts around the world are lasting longer, causing more bloodshed, and claiming more young lives," Fore said on Twitter.
UNICEF said 657 children were killed during the first nine months of fighting in Syria and an average of nine children were killed or maimed in Afghanistan over the same period while 36 schools were attacked in eastern Ukraine this year.