Save the Children has released disturbing testimony from Syrian refugees concerning brutality toward children in the country's 18-month civil war.
Read the 50-page report, titled "Untold Atrocities," here. (Warning: graphic details)
"You can't imagine what I've seen. What Syria has seen…Please help us. I am asking people around the world who can, please help us," a 12-year-old child tells the global aid agency.
Eye witnesses to the atrocities list the torture, maiming, systematic abuse, starvation, traumatization and murder of innocent children.
Charity helps Syrian children cope with trauma of war
"She was walking, doing nothing but walking, and they killed her. I saw her body with my own eyes, her uncle was carrying her. The bullet was next to her heart, she died immediately. They had no chance to try and save her. A two-year-old girl!"
"Our teams are working to help children come to terms with the devastating psychological impact of their experiences, providing specialist support to children showing signs of distress, including self-harm, nightmares and bedwetting," Save the Children reports.
"We're also calling for the UN to step up its documentation of all violations of children's rights in Syria and that it should have more resources to do this, so that crimes against children are not committed with impunity."
Save the Children is petitioning the UN Secretary-General, hoping to ensure that crimes against Syrian children do not go uncounted.
"We know also that these children and their parents feel abandoned. One child told Save the Children that 'if there was even 1 per cent of humanity in the world, this wouldn't happen,'" writes Rebecca Barber, humanitarian policy and advocacy advisor for Save the Children in the Brisbane Times.
Barber adds that the number of children affected is unknown, as aid agencies have little access within the country.
"It's time for world leaders to step up and show Syria's children that that 1 per cent of humanity in the world does exist — by calling upon parties to the conflict to cease violations of children's rights and for perpetrators to be held to account, and for Security Council resolutions to be adhered to, and by supporting the UN to ensure that these unspeakably horrific violations of children's rights are systematically documented," she continues.
Save the Children's chief executive Justin Forsyth, who recently returned from Jordan, emphasizes the need for emotional support for Syrian children who have witnessed such horrors:
"They need specialist emotional support to come to terms with these shocking experiences, and their stories need to be heard and documented so those responsible for these appalling crimes against children can be held to account."