Human Rights Watch has urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to add Israel to an annual "List of Shame" of children's rights violators, after more than 500 children were killed in the war in Gaza last year.

The US-based rights group called on Ban to resist pressure from Israel and the US to keep the Israeli Defence Forces off the list due to be released next week. "Secretary-General Ban can strengthen child protection in war by compiling his list based on facts, not political pressure," said Philippe Bolopion, crisis advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, on Thursday.

Human Rights Watch is also calling for the Palestinian group, Hamas, to be included as well as armed groups in Pakistan, Thailand and India, for serious violations including attacks on schools and the recruitment of child soldiers. The current list includes 51 groups including Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as well as the armed forces from eight countries such as Syria, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

The 50-day conflict in Gaza last year killed 539 children, injured 2,956, and left most Palestinians to struggle with trauma and life-long disabilities, according to the UN children's agency, UNICEF.


Source| Aljazeera