The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions, is the second report on the situation of children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic submitted to the Council and its subsidiary Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The report is based on verified information on grave violations against children committed by all parties to the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic during the period from 16 November 2013 to 30 June 2018.
The conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has continued unabated for more than seven years. The plethora of parties involved in the fighting, the constantly changing lines of control, along with the numerous political interests, have compounded the situation. The United Nations verified 12,537 grave violations against children, the most prevalent of which being killing and maiming; 10 per cent of the children concerned were killed or injured by weapons either prohibited or inherently indiscriminate or disproportionate in nature; one in three children conscripted, enlisted or used to participate actively in hostilities was below 15 years of age; schools and hospitals continued to be indiscriminately attacked, affecting entire education and health systems; medical and humanitarian personnel were continuously killed, injured or abducted; and children trapped in besieged areas suffered the compound effects of multiple violations and severe deprivations. The scale, severity and recurrence of those violations illustrate the growing erosion of compliance by all parties to the conflict with their child-protection obligations under international law.
It is noted in the present report that the monitoring and reporting mechanism on grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic remains severely constrained by security and access restrictions, representing significant challenges to the effective and timely monitoring, verification and attribution of grave violations against children that occurred on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic during the reporting period.