GLOBAL ECONOMY

UN warns of war's 'catastrophic impact' on Iraqi children

  • This image released by Iraq's Counterterrorism Service shows militant vehicles after Coalition and Iraqi security forces targeted a convoy of Islamic State fighters fleeing the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles, which officials said was an IS convoy fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military.(Iraq Counterterrorism Service via AP)

    This image released by Iraq's Counterterrorism Service shows militant vehicles after Coalition and Iraqi security forces targeted a convoy of Islamic State fighters fleeing the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles, which officials said was an IS convoy fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military.(Iraq Counterterrorism Service via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This image released by Iraq's Counterterrorism Service shows a destroyed militant vehicle after Coalition and Iraqi security forces targeted Islamic State fighters fleeing the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles, which officials said was an IS convoy fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military.(Iraq Counterterrorism Service via AP)

    This image released by Iraq's Counterterrorism Service shows a destroyed militant vehicle after Coalition and Iraqi security forces targeted Islamic State fighters fleeing the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles, which officials said was an IS convoy fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military.(Iraq Counterterrorism Service via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This image released by Iraq's Counterterrorism Service shows militant vehicles after airstrikes on a convoy of Islamic State fighters fleeing the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles, which officials said was an IS convoy fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military. (Iraq Counterterrorism Service via AP)

    This image released by Iraq's Counterterrorism Service shows militant vehicles after airstrikes on a convoy of Islamic State fighters fleeing the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles, which officials said was an IS convoy fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military. (Iraq Counterterrorism Service via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. children's fund has warned that 3.6 million Iraqi children are at "serious risk" of death, injury, sexual violence, abduction and recruitment into armed groups, and has called on warring parties in Iraq to protect their rights.

In a report issued Thursday, UNICEF says that the number of children in Iraq at serious risk of death or wartime exploitation had increased by 1.3 million in the past 18 months.

It describes Iraq as "one of the most dangerous places in the world for children."

The report says the 2014 Islamic State group invasion of large areas of Iraq's north and west and the military operation to unseat them have had a "catastrophic impact," with some 4.7 million Iraqi children in need of humanitarian assistance.