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Children increasingly the victims of Syria crackdown, UN report finds

November was the deadliest month of the revolt for children, with 56 killed, says the report. The UN rights council named a new Syria investigator but declined to refer the country to the Security Council.

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Overview of the Human Rights Council special session on the situation in Syria at the United Nations in Geneva on Friday.

Denis Balibouse/Reuters

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Syrian children are increasingly the victims of the Assad regime’s repression of opposition forces, a new UN-backed inquiry reports, but despite growing regional pressure on Syria and an appeal from the UN’s top human rights official, the UN Human Rights Council declined Friday to refer the country to the Security Council.

Instead, the council endorsed a Western- and Arab-backed proposal to name a special investigator of Syria's violence – a second-best step that avoids the veto that Russia and China would almost certainly impose on any Security Council action on Syria.

November was the deadliest month for children so far in the eight-month-old revolt of opposition forces against President Bashar al-Assad. At least 56 children were killed in the month, bringing the total to 307 verified child deaths among more than 4,000 killed in the conflict overall, according to the independent inquiry commissioned by the United Nations.

Armed with these and other lengthening tallies of the violence in Syria, and warning of the dangers of a “full-fledged civil war,” Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, urged the UN Human Rights Council to send the matter to the Security Council in New York.

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