The present report is the third on children and armed conflict in Iraq submitted by the Secretary-General. It contains information on the six grave violations against children and, more broadly, on the situation of children affected by conflict during the period from 1 July 2015 to 31 July 2019.
The report contains descriptions of disturbing trends and patterns of grave violations committed against children, notably high numbers of verified child casualties resulting from extreme violence perpetrated by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and military operations by parties to the conflict, including shelling, air strikes and mortar and rocket attacks. Most attacks carried out by ISIL were in direct contravention of international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. The scale of recruitment and use of children illustrates how children were used in the armed conflict. The high numbers of attacks on schools and of the military uses of schools testify to the grave impact of the conflict on children and raise serious concerns over the respect for international humanitarian law. In the report, perpetrators of grave violations are identified, where possible. The report also provides an outline of the challenges and progress made in improving the situation of children in Iraq and includes recommendations to enhance the protection of children.
It is also noted in the report that the security situation has sometimes resulted in limiting access for the purposes of monitoring and documentation and that the figures and incidents contained therein only partially reflect the scope of grave violations against children