Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General (A/63/785-S/2009/158)
Agenda item 60 (a)
Promotion and protection of the rights of children
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council presidential statement (S/PRST/2008/6), by which the Council requested me to submit a report on the implementation of its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1261 (1999), 1314 (2000), 1379 (2001), 1460 (2003) and 1539 (2004) on children and armed conflict. The report includes information on compliance with applicable international law to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and other grave violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict; information on progress made in the implementation of the monitoring and reporting mechanism and action plans to halt the recruitment and use of children, as well as progress made in mainstreaming children and armed conflict issues in United Nations peacekeeping and political missions; and a brief summary of the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and of its progress.
2. The report includes a proposal to strengthen the monitoring and reporting on rape and other grave sexual violence against children. The Office of my Special Representative has also identified the following emerging concerns in relation to the children and armed conflict agenda as key priority areas for action and continued advocacy. These concerns include internally displaced children and their particular risks for recruitment; terrorism and counter-terrorism measures and its impact on children; the accountability of child soldiers for acts committed during armed conflict, and special protections accorded to them; control on the transfer and use of arms and ammunitions, particularly to countries where children are known to be, or may potentially be, recruited or used in hostilities; and measures to achieve sustainable reintegration of children affected by conflict.
3. The report covers compliance and progress in ending the recruitment and use of children and other grave violations, including the killing and maiming of children, rape and other grave sexual violence, abductions, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access to children by parties to armed conflict.
4. The preparation of the present report involved broad consultations within the United Nations, in particular with the Task Force on Children and Armed Conflict at Headquarters, country-level task forces on monitoring and reporting, peacekeeping and political missions and United Nations country teams, as well as with concerned Member States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Country-level task forces on monitoring and reporting, peacekeeping and political missions and United Nations country teams are the primary sources of information for the report.
5. References to reports, cases and incidents in the present report refer to information that is gathered, vetted and verified for accuracy. In situations where access to obtaining or independently verifying information received is hampered by factors such as insecurity or access restrictions, it is qualified as such.
6. Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), in identifying the situations that fall within the scope of her mandate, my Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict is guided by the criteria for determining the existence of an armed conflict found in international humanitarian law and international jurisprudence. In the performance of her mandate, my Special Representative has adopted a pragmatic and cooperative approach to this issue, with a humanitarian emphasis, focusing on ensuring broad and effective protection for children exposed and affected by conflict in situations of concern. Reference to a situation of concern is not a legal determination and reference to a non-State party does not affect its legal status.