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The Afghan Peace Conference shows promise, but we need to see binding commitments to protect children

Save the Children
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Save the Children welcomes the progress made by all parties attending in the Intra-Afghan Peace Conference in Doha, including commitments to reduce civilian casualties to zero and avoid attacks on schools, hospitals and other public institutions.

Onno van Manen, Save the Children’s Country Director in Afghanistan, said:

“In the last two weeks at least 100 children have been injured or killed because of attacks near schools and other public places. The promises made during the Doha peace talks are as welcome as they are urgent, but they are not binding.

“Extreme violence is part of every day life for many children now and this is never acceptable. Schools must be safe places of learning where children have a sense of normality. Sadly, this is not the case in Afghanistan as attacks on schools have increased at an alarming rate throughout 2019. Right now 3.7 million children are out-of-school largely due to insecurity, and two-thirds of them are girls.

“Save the Children encourages all parties to the conflict to continue to work together to achieve peace through diplomacy. Parties must act in the spirit of humanity and stop the war on children once and for all. It’s about time the parties to the conflict agree to binding commitments that protect children at all times. Children must never be too scared to go to school.”