10th Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict

Posted on | mei 17, 2011 | No Comments

On 11 May the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict of the United Nations issued the Annual Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict.  Each year the report is published to lists those parties involved in the recruitment of children in armed conflict, as well and use, kill and maim or commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children in conflict.  The report gives an overview of the situation of those children who are directly impacted by armed conflict and report on the actions by listed parties over the course of the previous year regarding their protection.  This years report highlights violations against children in Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Occupied Palestinian Territories/Israel, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, Southern border provinces of Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

“2010 proved another tragic year for children in conflicts all over the world. We’ve taken no parties off of the list and added four more–two in Yemen and two in Iraq,” said Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy (UN).

In last years report Afghanistan was blacklisted following the notable recruitment of child soldiers by various armed groups, most notably the Taliban. The increased efforts to combat the use of child soldiers came after grave concerns were made by the UN that year regarding the presence of underage males in the country’s security services, as I reported in the post, Afghanistan: Working to End the Use of Child Soldiers.  The 2011 report makes note of progress in country where the Afghan government recently signed an agreement to release children from the National Security Forces and address other violations. The Afghan Government has now implemented vital measures to prevent underage recruitment, including training by the Ministry of Interior regarding their age verification procedures. Additionally in cooperation with NATO, an alert mechanism for child recruitment and sexual abuse has been implemented and a nationwide awareness campaign is underdevelopment.

Improvements in other noted states  in the report included the signing of new action plans between the United Nations and the Sudan LiberationArmy, to address child recruitment and use, as well as to secure their release.  Additionally progress was noted in Nepal, following the signing of new action plans between the Nepalese government, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“Despite the negative developments in 2011—such as attacks on schools and the number of parties that continue to commit grave violations, it is encouraging to note that more and more parties are approaching the United Nations to enter into an action plan to get off of the Secretary-General’s list of shame. We welcome these developments and hope the momentum will continue,” said SRSG Coomaraswamy (UN).

One area of particular concern noted in the report to children is the grave number of attacks on schools and hospitals, as out of 22 countries noted in the report, 15 make reference to attacks on schools and hospitals. Direct and physical damage to schools seems to be the most reoccurring violation, but there are also reported incidents of closure of schools and hospitals as a result of direct threats and intimidation, military occupation. Schools are often used as recruiting groups for children.

“I am concerned about the increasing trend of attacks on schools and hospitals,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the report. The Secretary-General recommends that the Security Council add parties to conflict that are attacking schools and hospitals to the annex of the report.

The report also list a number of recommendations for the UN Security Council to take action with listed parties on the increased protection of children in conflict situations, including both preventative and rehabilitative actions.

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clifford
URL: www.bridgetofreedomfoundation.org and http://children.foreignpolicyblogs.com
E-MAIL: Cassandra [at] btff.org


Leave a Reply

Page 1 of 11