Recommendations to the Security Council
Four non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) latest report on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use of children and killing and maiming children. Of these, Taliban forces and affiliated groups are additionally listed for attacks on schools and hospitals and abductions, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP) is also listed for attacks on schools and hospitals. The Afghan National Army was newly listed in this year’s report for killing and maiming children, though at the time of writing, the Afghan National Army has de facto ceased to exist on the ground. In the first half of 2021, child casualties comprised 32 percent of all civilian casualties, including the highest number of girl child casualties ever recorded by UNAMA. In September, UNAMA’s mandate is up for renewal, pursuant to SCR 2543 (2020). Following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, the Security Council issued a press statement calling for an immediate end to all hostilities, for the formation of a new united, inclusive, and representative government through inclusive negotiations, and for respect for international humanitarian law (IHL). UN agencies and humanitarian partners, including UNICEF and Save the Children, have expressed their commitment to continue providing for the needs of vulnerable civilians, including children, in Afghanistan. Children were reportedly among the civilian casualties that resulted from the August 26 attack on Kabul’s airport. The Security Council should:
Demand that all parties, particularly the Taliban and affiliated groups, uphold their obligations under IHL and human rights law (IHRL), and ensure full respect for the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls and notably the right of all children to education;
Call on the Taliban to fulfill its promises to protect civilians, respect human rights, including the rights of women and girls, ensure the safety of UN and civil society actors on the ground, including female staff, and respect their neutrality, impartiality, and independence;
Renew UNAMA’s child protection mandate and, in subsequent budget negotiations, ensure allocation of additional resources including for child protection capacity to allow UNAMA to fully and safely deliver on this mandate;
Demand immediate, safe, and unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in need, including children; ensure counterterrorism measures and sanctions regimes do not impede humanitarian action; and urge Member States including neighboring countries to facilitate safe passage of Afghans who are at risk of harm and to provide emergency funding to ensure the humanitarian response can continue;
Call for the protection, rights, well-being, and empowerment of children to be fully incorporated and prioritized in efforts to build inclusive, sustainable peace, and encourage and facilitate consideration of children’s views in these processes, where possible and compatible with their best interests, pursuant to SCR 2427 (2018) and drawing on the Practical Guidance for Mediators.
ESTONIA AND NORWAY ARE THE LEAD COUNTRIES ON AFGHANISTAN.
Libya is a situation of concern in the SG’s 2021 annual report (S/2021/437). The SG expressed concern at the prevalence of killing and maiming of children and attacks on schools and hospitals in 2020, as well as for recruitment and use and cross-border trafficking from Syria to Libya, and risks of sexual violence against children. In September, UNSMIL’s mandate is up for renewal, pursuant to SCR 2542 (2020), which called for the effective deployment of child protection advisers. In July, the Council welcomed the Second Berlin Conference and the commitment of the participants to the UN-facilitated, Libyan-led, and Libyan-owned political process. The Council also reiterated its grave concern at the “dire situation faced by migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people, including children.” UNICEF’s midyear report cites 668 children (199 girls, 469 boys) had been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in the first half of 2021, and most of these children were subjected to arbitrary detention in centers run by the Ministry of Interior. The Security Council should:
Urge all parties to uphold their obligations under IHL and IHRL as they continue to take steps towards the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement; and call on the interim government to mitigate the effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war on children;
Reiterating concern for ongoing grave violations committed against children in Libya, call on all parties to immediately cease such violations, including all recruitment and use and cross-border trafficking of children; and request an update on the deployment of child protection advisers to UNSMIL, as requested in SCR 2542 (2020);
Call on the interim government to end arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees, in particular children; to release those unlawfully detained; and to immediately put in place measures to prevent torture, sexual violence, or other ill-treatment in detention;
Call on Member States to facilitate the voluntary return of their nationals, including children of their nationals, held for their or their family members’ actual or alleged association with ISIL and other armed groups, and to provide reintegration support in line with international standards and ensuring the best interests of the child;
Call for the protection, rights, well-being, and empowerment of children to be fully incorporated and prioritized in ongoing efforts to build inclusive, sustainable peace, and encourage and facilitate consideration of children’s views in these processes, where possible and compatible with their best interests, pursuant to SCR 2427 (2018) and drawing on the Practical Guidance for Mediators.
THE UNITED KINGDOM IS THE LEAD COUNTRY ON LIBYA.