Friday, June 19, 2015

  • Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA tweeted a lie:

Where did they get this from?

Apparently, they used the recent UN report on "Children in Armed Conflict."

Only one problem: The UN report only includes numbers when they are verified; if they have no idea they won't even bother to give an estimate.

So for example, the UN says about Syria:

197. Indiscriminate attacks launched in civilian populated areas continued to cause widespread killing and maiming. The United Nations verified the killing of 368 children (184 boys, 66 girls, 118 gender unknown) by Syrian Government forces (221), ISIL/ANF (44), FSA-affiliated groups (24), international coalition airstrikes (4) and unknown parties (75). ...Actual numbers are believed to be much higher.
That is an understatement. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights counted 3,501 children killed in Syria - seven times the number who died in Gaza in 2014. Many of them were, no doubt, of Palestinian ancestry.

UNRWA doesn't care about them.

What about other conflicts? AP counted 5000 civilians killed in the Central African Republic between December 2013 and September 2014. There is no doubt that more than 10% are children as most were killed in vicious massacres of entire villages. Yet the UN doesn't have verified numbers, so they only reported the 146 documented cases, a small fraction of the actual number of deaths. As AP wrote:

Both life and death often go unrecorded in Central African Republic, a country of about 4.6 million that has long teetered on the edge of anarchy. Nobody knows just how many people have died in the grinding ethnic violence, and even the AP tally is almost certainly a fraction of the real toll.

The AP counted bodies and gathered numbers from dozens of survivors, priests, imams, human rights groups and local Red Cross workers, including those in a vast, remote swath of the west that makes up a third of the country. Many deaths here were not officially counted because the region is still dangerous and can barely be reached in torrential rains. Others were left out by overwhelmed aid workers but registered at mosques and at private Christian funerals.

The U.N. is not recording civilian deaths on its own, unlike in Iraq or Afghanistan, for example.
The Boko Haram insurgency killed over 11,000 civilians in 2014, but since there is no specific count of children, the UN doesn't estimate how many are under 18.

In South Sudan, where 50,000 and 100,000 have been killed, but no one is counting:
The International Crisis Group (ICG), a conflict think-tank, estimates at least 50,000 people have already died but it admits the true figure could even be double that. It also says the failure to count the dead is a scandal -- both as a dishonour to the victims and as something that has kept the country's suffering off the international radar.

"It's shocking that in 2014, in a country with one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in the world, tens of thousands of people can be killed and no one can even begin to confirm the death toll," ICG researcher Casie Copeland told AFP.

"Surely more can be done to understand whether the figure is closer to 50,000 or 100,000?"
Other conflicts which had a higher death toll than Gaza, and probably a higher death toll of children, include Ukraine, Libya and Darfur, and possibly Pakistan.

So, yes, this tweet by a UN agency is a flat-out lie.

It also shows that the UN, by avoiding even giving an estimate of actual numbers of children killed in 2014, is contributing to the problem because they are effectively cheapening the lives of children in areas of the worst conflicts where it is too dangerous for observers to go.

(h/t Judge Dan)

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