Annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy (A/HRC/21/38)
Human Rights Council Twenty-first session Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
In the present report, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict presents her activities undertaken in discharging her mandate, including information on her field visits and on the progress achieved with regard to the signing of action plans, in addition to challenges remaining on the children and armed conflict agenda. The report covers the period from May 2011 to May 2012.
The Special Representative acknowledges the progress made since the previous reporting period with regard to accountability for perpetrators of attacks on schools and hospitals through the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1998 (2011), and with regard to a system of deterrence for perpetrators of violations against children through the first judgement of the International Criminal Court on the war crime of recruitment and use of children. She also acknowledges the progress made with regard to the ratification of the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the signing of action plans to release children from armed groups.
This progress notwithstanding, the Special Representative is concerned about the continued impunity of violating parties and delays in the development of action plans for the release of children in some countries. She also discusses other child protection issues, such as the restoration of children’s rights through reparations and protective measures to prevent children’s association with armed forces and groups. Moreover, the Special Representative highlights the growing trend of killing and maiming children through the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Lastly, the Special Representative outlines a series of recommendations addressed to States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, States that are under review of the Human Rights Council universal periodic review mechanism, the Human Rights Council and Member States to further the protection of children’s rights.