On Wednesday, UNICEF Lebanon issued a statement that called for “the protection of children and the safeguard of their rights.”
“The recent information circulating on several media outlets of grave sexual and physical violence against children is another indicator that violence against children is increasing in Lebanon”, commented the UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, Edouard Beigbeder.
This statement came following the news of the arrest of a retired soldier in the Al-Qaa area, in Baalbeck Governate, that allegedly drugged and raped more than 17 victims, including children.
The man, who is in his fifties, confessed to his crimes after videos and photos of the children were found on his phone.
Back in December 2021, UNICEF Lebanon warned of an increase in violent acts against children from “physical, emotional, or sexual violence and exploitation, as families struggle to cope with the country’s deepening economic crisis.”
The NGO condemned any acts of violence against children:
“Nothing justifies violence against children. All acts of abuse and violence against children are unacceptable.”
UNICEF called for the provision of safety and a safe environment for children in Lebanon as well as the protection of privacy of survivors of violence.