The Secretary General report reveals increasing severity of the grave violations committed in 2015

 

Child Protection Training of Trainers for Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF)

Child protection training of trainers course for Uganda People’s Defence Force, 2016 (credit: save the children).

 

The children and armed conflict report of the Secretary General covering the period from January to December 2015 was submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2225 (2015).

The report outlines

  • Recent global trends regarding the impact of armed conflict on children and provides information on grave violations committed against children in 2015
  • Main activities with regard to the implementation of relevant Council resolutions and the conclusions of the Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict
  • List of parties that engage in the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools and/or hospitals and attacks or threats of attacks against protected personnel,1 and the abduction of children.

‘The impact on children of our collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, and the present report highlights the increased intensity of grave violations in a number of situations of armed conflict. Those violations are directly related to the denigration of the respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.

‘In the Syrian Arab Republic, the five-year conflict has caused the deaths of more than 250,000 people, including thousands of children.

‘In Afghanistan in 2015, the highest number of child casualties was recorded since the United Nations began systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009.

‘In Somalia, the situation continued to be perilous, with an increase of 50 per cent in the number of recorded violations against children compared with 2014, with many hundreds of children recruited, used, killed and maimed.

‘In a most troubling example, in South Sudan, children were victims of all six grave violations, in particular during brutal military offensives against opposition forces.

‘Attacks on schools and hospitals were prevalent in 2015, linked to the increasing use of air strikes and explosive weapons in populated areas. Armed groups particularly targeted girls’ access to education, although attacks on schools and hospitals were also carried out by government forces. Member States should consider, where necessary, changes in policies, military procedures and legislation to protect schools and hospitals.

‘Abductions continued to be perpetrated on a wide scale by Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), with the number significantly increasing in Afghanistan and South Sudan.

‘In the Syrian Arab Republic, more than 4.8 million people have fled the country and 6.5 million have been internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict; nearly half of them are children.

‘In Nigeria, as at the end of December, more than 1.8 million people had been internally displaced, including in excess of 1 million children, and more than 200,000 were refugees in neighbouring countries.

‘In South Sudan, some 200,000 civilians, mainly women and children, remained in United Nations sites for the protections of civilians at the end of 2015. In Gaza, 44,479 children remain displaced as a result of the escalation of hostilities in 2014.

‘In Democratic Republic of the Congo the United Nations verified the new recruitment of 488 children (26 girls), of whom 30 per cent were under 15 years of age when recruited. This is more than twice the number of documented cases in 2014.

‘Regarding separation, UNICEF supported the reintegration of 749 children through community-based programmes in Somalia. The United Nations also provided technical support to the Child Protection Unit of the Somali National Army.

‘In South Sudan the United Nations verified 159 incidents of recruitment and use, affecting 2,596 children. The United Nations verified 131 incidents of killing and 59 of maiming affecting 480 and 128 children, respectively, a sharp increase compared with 2014.

Access the full report from the Watchlist website here: Children and armed conflict Report of the Secretary-General, April 2016

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