Iraq + 11 more

Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – May 2021

News and Press Release
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Recommendations to the Security Council


The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are listed in the annex of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2020 annual report on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use of children, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. In May, UNAMI’s mandate is up for renewal, pursuant to SCR 2522 (2020). In January, UNICEF confirmed [two] children were injured in an attack, and one child was killed and her sister wounded after coming into contact with an unexploded remnant of war. The SG’s recent report on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2021/312) highlights continuing challenges faced by children associated with ISIL, such as detention, stigma, displacement, risk of statelessness, and lack of access to identity documents or justice. In March, the Government passed the Yazidi Survivors Law, providing reparations and assistance to survivors from some minority groups. Watchlist’s recent report found that there is currently no national strategy or legal framework guiding the Government’s response to children associated with armed groups, and access to reintegration is often limited and short-term. The Security Council should:

• Call on the Government to intensify efforts to remove administrative barriers hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians, including children, and to issue identification documents to allow all children to access public assistance and basic services;

• Urge the Government to treat children affected by armed conflict primarily as victims and prioritize their reintegration, including those children formerly or allegedly associated with groups designated as terrorist, taking into account that detention should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;

• Encourage the Government to adopt and implement a handover protocol to facilitate the release of children to child protection actors for their reintegration;

• Call on Member States to facilitate the return of their nationals, including children of their nationals, held for their or their family members’ actual or alleged association with ISIL, and to provide reintegration support in line with international standards and ensuring the best interests of the child.