OREANDA-NEWS. Every sixth child in conflict zones is at risk of sexual violence by armed militants, the organization for the protection of children's rights «Save the Children» said in it's report, timed to coincide with the opening of the virtual international conference on security issues in Munich on Friday, February 19.

Of the 426 million children living in conflict zones, almost 72 million girls and boys are at high risk of sexual violence. At the same time, over the past 30 years, the number of children at risk has increased tenfold. In 1990, 8.5 million children were at risk of sexual violence, the report says.

Experts explain, that sexual violence includes rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sterilization and removal of female external genitals. The situation is particularly dire in Iraq, Yemen, Colombia, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.

Compared to Save the Children's estimates, the official figures are much lower. The UN has counted more than 20.000 cases of sexual violence in armed conflict worldwide since 2006. The head of «Save the Children», Susanna Krüger, said that the official data is just the tip of the iceberg.