The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has presented a summary of incidents from the past year from war zones around the world in which children were brutally harmed, raped, forced to fight or used as human shields.

Photo credit: Aaed Tayeh, Flash 90

According to information gathered by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) throughout 2017, children caught in conflict zones around the world are increasingly being used, killed or otherwise harmed by armies and terrorist groups.

The UN agency called 2017 “a nightmare year” for children in conflict zones, saying parties to conflicts were “blatantly disregarding international laws designed to protect the most vulnerable.”

In Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, terrorist group Boko Haram has forced at least 135 chidren to commit suicide bombing attacks. In Congo, over 850,000 children lost their homes and more than 400 schools were deliberately targeted.

In Yemen, at least 5,000 children have died in the ongoing civil war and almost two million children are suffering from severe malnutrition.

The use of children as human shields is also happening in Iraq and Syria, the UN said.