Peace talks critical for the future of Syria’s children

World Vision Chief Executive Tim Costello has welcomed the January 22 Syria peace talks, saying it is the best chance of bringing an end to the abuse and suffering of Syria’s children.

Mr Costello said the international community owed it to the millions of children currently affected by the violence in Syria to ensure the peace talks bring a lasting end to the conflict.

“It is the children of Syria; the country’s most vulnerable that have suffered the most in this conflict,” Mr Costello said. “Thousands of Syrian children have already lost their lives, in some cases the result of being specifically targeted in massacres and executions.”

The UN Secretary General and the international community – particularly the United States and Russia - need to use their influence to ensure negotiations for an immediate ceasefire and sustainable peace settlement take place, he said.

The conflict in Syria has impacted on the lives of more than 4 million children, with children displaced from their homes, killed, maimed, held in detention and suffering others forms of severe violence and abuse. Recent research indicates the ongoing fighting has also seen children killed not only in indiscriminate fire, but also killed through targeted attacks.

It has been reported that an alarming number of children are being used in the conflict, with children being used by armed forces as human shields.

The situation for Syrian children is unacceptable and will only get worse unless all parties commit to ending the conflict and protecting children so their needs can become a priority, Mr Costello said.

“Every month that goes by without a peaceful resolution means more children are displaced from their homes, missing out on school or even being forced to fight on the frontlines of the conflict,” Mr Costello said. “The time to act is now.”


Tim Costello is available for interview.

Media contact: Gabrielle Brophy 0407 575 112 or


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