Statement of the ESCAP Board on children taken as hostages in the context of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel

ESCAP is shocked and deeply saddened by the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and the escalating violence and horrors in Israel and Gaza that ensued and are still on-going. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the victims and everyone affected by these horrific events.

In our positional statements "War hits children first" and "The impact of war" we highlighted that it is always children who are hit first and trauma research shows the devastating consequences and what our profession can contribute to support and treat these children.

We call for the immediate release of the children taken hostage and the provision of care for them in the aftermath of their ordeal. Caregivers taken as hostages with their children and siblings should be freed together with them, as they play an important role in the direct support of their children.

We fully support UNICEF's statement from 24 October and their call for ceasefires and for sustained and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance.

The ESCAP Board: Jörg Fegert (ESCAP President), Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, Andrea Danese, Maja Drobnič Radobuljac, Stephan Eliez, Manon Hillegers, Pieter Hoekstra, Enikő Kiss, Paul Klauser, Konstantinos Kotsis, Anne-Marie Råberg Christensen, Carmen Schröder