Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – May 2017

from Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
Published on 01 May 2017 View Original

Recommendations to the Security Council


In May, the UN Security Council will hold an open debate on the protection of civilians under the Presidency of Uruguay, which has chosen to highlight the implementation of the SCR 2286 (2016) pertaining to the protection of medical facilities and personnel in armed conflict. No outcome document is expected. On the occasion of this debate, Council Members should support the Secretary-General’s (SG) calls on Member States to:

  • Support the UN’s monitoring and data analysis regarding attacks on health care in armed conflict, and specifically, allow independent monitors unhindered access to affected locations and persons, establish national data collection and analysis systems on attacks on health care in armed conflict, and share data with monitors at regional and global levels;

  • For the purposes of ensuring accountability, strengthen national mechanisms for independent investigations of violations of laws against attacks on or interference with health care in conflict, including strengthening law enforcement and prosecution of individuals found responsible;

  • Incorporate provisions of international law relating to the protection of medical care in armed conflict into military rules of engagement and standard operating procedures, and issue orders to prohibit military use of health facilities, and to this end, widely disseminate and train military personnel in such rules, orders, and operating procedures.


Somali National Army (SNA) and Al-Shabaab are both listed for the recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children. Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (ASWJ) is also listed for recruitment and use. In 2012, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) signed two action plans with the UN, one to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children, and one to end killing and maiming. On May 31, the AMISOM mandate will expire pursuant to SCR 2297 (2016). Council Members should:

  • Encourage AMISOM to maintain the promotion of child protection as one of its priorities, fulfilled in part through the appointment of a Child Protection Adviser in January 2015, and to this end, call upon AMISOM to continue to coordinate with UNSOM’s child protection team;

  • Call upon AMISOM to fully implement the Force Commander directive on the protection of children’s rights, and to comply with the standard operating procedures for the reception and handover of children separated from armed groups signed by the TFG;

  • Urge federal and regional authorities to swiftly domesticate the country’s international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and resolve existing legal ambiguities related to the definition of a child;

  • Express concern about the lack of transparency and oversight in the classification of children held on national security charges, the absence of a clear legal framework for children detained on security charges, and of international juvenile justice standards.



The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), SPLA in Opposition (SPLA-IO), and White Army are all listed for recruitment and use. The SPLA and SPLA-IO are also listed for killing and maiming. The SPLA is additionally listed for rape and other forms of sexual violence and abductions. In 2014, the Government of South Sudan re-committed to its 2012 Action Plan. The SPLA-IO signed an action plan with the UN in December 2015 to end and prevent the recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children. In May, pursuant to SCR 2290 (2016), the Security Council will review the Panel of Experts’ mandate extended through July 1, 2017.

In March, the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSGCAAC) briefed the Sanctions Committee on the situation in South Sudan. In its latest report, the Panel found numerous violations by parties to conflict, including recruitment and use of children, and looting and destruction of schools and hospitals. It further stated that the failure of leadership in Juba to hold perpetrators to account remains the key driver of war. Council Members should:

  • Encourage continued and ongoing exchange between the Council and the SRSG-CAAC on grave violations against children in South Sudan, as well as collaboration with the Panel of Experts;
    Urge prompt human and financial resourcing of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan at the Human Rights Council, in order to facilitate independent investigations with the purpose of ensuring accountability and ending pervasive impunity in the country;

  • With the view to ensuring accountability and ending impunity for grave violations, support the call made by the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan and the Special Adviser to the SG on the Prevention of Genocide, for setting up of the international, impartial, and independent investigative mechanism to collect, analyze, and preserve evidence for future use when the hybrid court mandated by the Chapter V of the South Sudan peace agreement is established.


In Yemen, four parties are listed for grave violations against children. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition was listed for killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals in 2016, but later removed pending review. Escalating conflict has stalled implementation of the Government’s 2014 Action Plan to end and prevent recruitment and use. In May, the SG will report to the Council on the implementation of SCR 2201 (2015) and developments in Yemen. As mentioned in Watchlist’s report on Yemen, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), between March 2015 and March 2017, parties to the conflict carried out more than 160 attacks against medical facilities and personnel. The Security Council should:

  • Urge the SG to list the Saudi Arabia-led coalition as responsible for attacks on hospitals in his 2017 annual report on children and armed conflict, based on UN verified data pursuant to SCR 1998;
    Adopt a resolution to condemn violations of international humanitarian and human rights law perpetrated by all parties;

  • Establish an international and independent investigative mechanism to ensure accountability for violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including all grave violations against children;
    Ensure full and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid, including by lifting the de facto blockade imposed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, and support the political process as the only meaningful way of bringing an end to the conflict;

  • Urge the relevant Security Council Sanctions Committee to include individuals and entities it determines to be responsible for grave violations against children, particularly attacks on hospitals, in the relevant Security Council sanctions list, and encourage the SRSG-CAAC to continue to share