Violence against children in Iraq has started to "escalate significantly" since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned yesterday.
"At home is where children should feel safest but for many Iraqi children this is not the case," UNICEF said on Facebook.
The humanitarian organisation pointed out that it had noticed an "increase in cases of violence and abuse against children inside their homes and at the hands of their caregivers" since the beginning of the pandemic.
It described the violent acts as "not acceptable", calling on the Iraqi authorities "to take immediate action against the perpetrators to ensure that children are protected and that they feel safe in all settings."
"All children have a right to live a life free from violence and intimidation," UNICEF reiterated, stressing that it would "continue to support the Government of Iraq, including ensuring there are clear steps that should be taken in order to prevent abuse."