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For Watchlist advocacy, 2017 was marked by a rigorous and sustained campaign targeting the new UN Secretary-General to put children above politics. This follows several years of politicization of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict and its annexed list of child rights violators, including Saudi Arabia’s threat in 2016 to pull all UN funding if the Saudi-led coalition was not removed from the annexes.
Campaign to Ensure a Credible and Complete Listing of Child Rights Violators
In 2017, there were at least 701 attacks on hospitals, health workers, patients, and ambulances in 23 countries in conflict around the world. More than 101 health workers and 293 patients and others are reported to have died as a result of these attacks
NEW YORK – Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict today called on the UN Secretary-General to include state security forces from seven conflict situations in his annual list of perpetrators of grave violations of children’s rights. Watchlist also asked the UN chief to investigate armed forces and groups from four additional countries for possible abuses.
This month’s update highlights children and armed conflict concerns and provides recommendations for the protection of children in the situations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Syria. The update additionally provides information regarding the status of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict conclusion negotiations on the Secretary-General’s report on the situation of children and armed conflict in the Philippines.
In multiple situations of armed conflict throughout the world, parties to the conflict routinely deny civilians access to humanitarian aid as a tactic of war. For example, in Yemen, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has maintained a de facto aerial and naval blockade since March 2015. Because Yemen imported 90 percent of its food and medicine and 70 percent of its fuel before the start of the conflict, the impacts of the blockade have been devastating.
In 2016, Watchlist continued to successfully mainstream children and armed conflict priorities across the UN’s work through targeted advocacy and policy recommendations based on field inputs from our network members.
Mainstreaming Children and Armed Conflict in the Security Council
On February 8, the UN General Assembly held an informal meeting marking the 20th Anniversary of Resolution 51/77 (1997) on the promotion and protection of the rights of children. This resolution established the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC). In his opening remarks, President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, called the resolution “a landmark development in our global efforts to improve the protection of children in conflict situations.” A high-level panel discussion was moderated by SRSG-CAAC Ms.
Watchlist Launches Report on Lessons Learned From MRM Implementation in Colombia and South Sudan
New York, August 1, 2016 – The Security Council should hold perpetrators accountable for violations against children in armed conflict irrespective of political pressure, said Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict in advance of the Security Council’s August 2 Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict. The debate follows a highly controversial decision by the Secretary-General in June to remove the Saudi Arabia-led coalition from his list of parties committing grave violations against children.
Watchlist Releases New Briefing Note: Working Methods 2006-2015
On August 20, 2015, under the Presidency of Nigeria, the UN Security Council held a special briefing entitled “Consolidating Security Council engagement on security sector reform: towards further implementation of resolution 2151 (2014)”. The meeting served as follow up on the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2151 (2014), which was the first standalone resolution on security sector reform (SSR) adopted by the Council.
On 2 June, ahead of the June Security Council resolution on children and armed conflict, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (‘Watchlist’) published a new briefing note entitled “Expanding the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict Agenda”. In the note, Watchlist highlights abductions of children in situations of armed conflict and the detention of children allegedly associated with armed forces or groups, through examining the Secretary-General’s annual reports from 2002 to 2014.
In this briefing note, Watchlist highlights abductions of children in situations of armed conflict and the detention of children allegedly associated with armed forces or groups, through examining the Secretary-General’s annual reports from 2002 to 2014.
The 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM), which documents six grave violations perpetrated against children in situations of armed conflict, is a UN-led process that performs best when it enjoys the support and participation of civil society actors. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), whether local or international, have been contributing to the MRM by monitoring and documenting grave violations, responding to the needs of victims, and by advocating for stronger action to protect children.
On Wednesday 25th March, the UN Security Council (UNSC) will hold an Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, which will take place under the presidency of France. The theme of the Open Debate will focus on child victims of non-state armed actors (ANSAs). This will be the first Open Debate to focus on actions and tools Member States may constructively use to end and prevent grave violations against children by ANSAs.
Introduction et Guide de l’utilisateur
In this discussion paper, Watchlist argues that the UN should develop and implement a policy that prohibits government security forces listed in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict from contributing troops to UN-mandated missions, until the Secretary-General has certified the full implementation of their action plan with the UN to end and prevent violations against children.
This note continues Watchlist’s practice of providing updated analyses of the working methods of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. It examines and identifies trends in (1) the use of the Working Group’s toolkit and (2) the time taken to adopt country-specific conclusions. The note also offers recommendations for further strengthening the working methods of the Working Group in relation to both the use of the toolkit and the adoption time of conclusions.
The 11th Report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (2012) listed 32 persistent perpetrators of grave violations against children– that is, those who were perpetrators for a period of five years or longer -, and proposed measures to increase pressure on these perpetrators to end violations. One of the recommendations focused on action plans, an important tool in preventing and ending violations.