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Children and Armed Conflict

Presidency of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

Photo UNICEF

Photo UNICEF

It is unconscionable that we so clearly and consistently see children’s rights attacked and that we fail to defend them. It is unforgivable that children are assaulted, violated, murdered and yet our conscience is not revolted nor our sense of dignity challenged. This represents a fundamental crisis of our civilization. The impact of armed conflict on children must be everyone’s concern and is everyone’s responsibility

 Graça Machel

                         

The United Nations has given increased attention to the matter of Children and Armed Conflict after the presentation in August 1996 of a damning report by human rights defender Graça Machel, entitled Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. This report highlighted the fact that evolutions in warfare made unarmed civilians and notably children ever more frequent victims. In the year following the report, the Secretary-General created the post of Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and, in 1999, the Security Council adopted resolution 1261 condemning firmly the violations of children's rights. This resolution remains the cornerstone of the normative construction which has continued to grow over the years and which is today defining the framework for action of the United Nations.

The Secretary-General presents an annual report on children affected by armed conflict, which contains two annexes which list parties guilty of grave violations against children. The first annex concerns armed conflicts on the agenda of the Council, the second concerns those situations of which the Security Council is not actively seized. Initially, the criteria for inclusion in the annexes were limited to parties recruiting and using child soldiers, but they were gradually widened to include since 2011 killing and maiming of children, sexual violence against children, as well as attacks against schools or hospitals. Countries listed in the two annexes are periodically subject to scrutiny in the context of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism.

The Working Group on children and armed conflict, of which Luxembourg has the presidency since 1st January 2013 for a two-year mandate, was created in 2005 by resolution 1612. This subsidiary body of the Council has the role of examining all situation reports, assessing progress made in the implementation of action plans and making recommendations to the Council on measures to be taken with regard to involved parties. The Working Group can also make any other recommendation it deems necessary for the protection of children in armed conflict, including by making recommendations for mandates of peacekeeping operations.

News

04/12/2014 : Statement by the Chair on the visit of the Working Group to the DRC (in French)

27/11/2014: Formal meeting of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (Syrian Arab Republic)

19/09/2014: Formal meeting of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (DRC)

21/07/2014: Formal meeting of the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict (DRC, Iraq)

07/07/2014: Formal meeting of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (Mali, South Sudan)

20/06/2014: Formal meeting of the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict

06/06/2014: Formal meeting of the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict

05/06/2014: Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict : Briefing by the the South Sudan Country Task Force ( UN Press release)

01/05/2014: Formal meeting of the working group on children and armed conflict

14/02/2014: Formal meeting of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (Philippines, Syria, "Children, not Soldiers" campaign)

12/02/2014: International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers (12th February)

27/01/2014: Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic

06/12/2013: Working Group on children and armed conflict: formal meeting (Yemen, DRC, Chad)

04/12/2013: Statement by the Chair on the visit of the Working Group to Myanmar

25/10/2013: Formal meeting of the Working Group on children and armed conflict (Philippines)

16/08/2013: Formal Meeting of the Working Group of the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict

26/07/2013: Working Group on children and armed conflict: formal meeting (Yemen)

17/06/2013: Security Council Open Debate and adoption of Presidential Statement 2013/08

20/05/2013: Working Group on children and armed conflict: formal meeting on persistent perpetrators

17/05/2013: Official visit in Luxembourg by Ms Leila Zerrougui, SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict

19/04/2013: Formal Meeting of the Working group on Children and Armed Conflict

12/02/2013: International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers (12th February)

18/01/2013: Luxembourg takes over the presidency of the Working group on children and armed conflict

Documentation and useful links:

Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict established pursuant to resolution 1612 (2005)

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

Group of Friends on Children and Armed Conflict chaired by Canada

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (formed by five international NGOs)