AT least 39 children in the North of Ireland have been shot or assaulted by paramilitaries in the past six years, a report has revealed.
Between 2009 and 2014, at least 12 children were shot, while a further 27 were the victims of paramilitary assaults.
In 2009 alone, five children were shot and 13 were assaulted.
But there are fears that these figures could be even higher as many attacks are believed to go unreported by those who fear a retaliation.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has said the British Government must take immediate action to end these paramilitary attacks on children.
These issues are among 30 that the NIHRC has identified in a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of a Child, ahead of its examination of Britain’s human rights record.
The report recommends that the UN Committee condemn the attacks being carried out by paramilitary organisations and ask the British Government to take “immediate and effective” action to address these attacks.
The NIHRC also highlighted several UN recommendations about the privacy of children in Britain that had not yet been implemented, dating as far back as 2008 which need immediate action.
These include raising the minimum age of responsibility for criminal activity from 10 to 12 and abolishing the smacking of children in the North of Ireland.
NIHRC Chief Commissioner Les Allamby said: “The purpose of this report is to highlight what areas we believe the United Nations Committee should focus on as it prepares to examine the UK Governments human rights record.
“We want to make sure Northern Ireland’s circumstances are at the forefront of this process. Human Rights belong to our children and young people.”
“It is important that they are adequately protected,” he added.
The report will be considered by the UN Committee in October's pre-session, with the Committee’s examination of children’s rights in Britain taking place in Geneva next June.