[14 November 2016] – Staying in school protects girls from recruitment and other grave violations by armed groups, says Child Soldiers International in a new report published today. Research conducted by the organisation in 2016 shows that many girls who joined armed groups in eastern DRC did so because they had been forced to drop out of school.
About a third of the 150 girls interviewed during the research had voluntarily joined an armed group, and almost half of them had joined because they could no longer pay their school fees.
Child Soldiers International submits this short shadow briefing to the Committee to highlight violations of the rights of children affected by armed conflict in Cameroon, according to relevant articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRC). As Cameroon has signed (2001) and ratified (2013) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), where applicable, this briefing refers to Cameroon’s obligations under this treaty. It does not, however, attempt to constitute a full OPAC shadow report.
Child Soldiers International compiled this submission on the USA's compliance with the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed Conflict (OPAC).
The report includes questions and recommendations on its enlistment age; safeguards and consent; participation in hostilities; recruitment in schools; criminalisation; protection; recovery and reintegration; and arms exports and military assistance.
Child Soldiers International presented this report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in June 2016. It describes progress made by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in preventing child recruitment and providing reintegration assistance to girls formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups.
Secretary-General’s De-Listing Opens Door to Political Manipulation
(New York) – The United Nations secretary-general should immediately return the Saudi-led coalition to his “list of shame” for violations against children in Yemen, Human Rights Watch and 19 other organizations said today in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Les défis de la démobilisation et réintégration des enfants associés aux groupes armés en République centrafricaine
Etat des lieux du recrutement d'enfants en Centrafrique, en particulier des défis de la démobilisation et de la réintégration des enfants associés aux groupes armés, dans un contexte où la plupart des enfants ont été associés à des milices d’autodéfense et restent dans leurs communautés sous l’influence de ces commandants, même après la démobilisation.
The Afghan National Police (ANP) including the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and three armed groups including Taliban forces are listed as persistent perpetrators in the 2015 Annual Report of the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council on children and armed conflict for the recruitment and use of children.
The recruitment of children and their use in hostilities by non-state armed groups has been a serious problem for decades. Despite the scale of the problem, few sustained national and international efforts have been concentrated on tackling this serious concern. In its report A law unto themselves?
Summary of concerns
Myanmar’s November 2015 Parliamentary election resulted in a sweeping victory for the National League of Democracy (NLD), generating hopes that the new NLD-led government will bring about a demonstrable improvement in the country’s human rights situation. Child Soldiers International has documented the widespread recruitment and use of children as soldiers in Myanmar for over a decade, and believes that the new government needs to make a renewed commitment to ensure that the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar military) becomes a child-free army.
Over the last six months, Child Soldiers International has found worrying evidence of child rights violations by the Chadian army, and non-compliance with child protection commitments by the Chadian authorities.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is among seven non-state armed groups in Myanmar listed in the 2015 Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict as a party which recruits and uses children. The UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on grave violations against children has documented persistent recruitment and use of children by the KIA since 2007.
The following is a guest blog from ICRtoP member Child Soldiers International. Child Soldiers International works to end the military recruitment of children and their use in hostilities, as well as other human rights abuses resulting from their association with armed forces or groups. They promote the release of children, seek their successful return to civilian life, and call for accountability for those who recruit and use them.
Myanmar: Further steps needed to end army’s recruitment and use of children
Measures identified in the UN Joint Action Plan need to be urgently implemented
Children as young as 14 have been recruited and used by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (BRN) and other armed groups operating in southern Thailand, research by Child Soldiers International and the Cross Cultural Foundation shows. The research was conducted in nine districts in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla between September 2013 and April 2014. Detailed interviews were conducted with 26 former and current members of armed groups, at least 13 of whom were recruited below the age of 18.
20 November 2014 – Twenty-five years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Child Soldiers International and the Jesuit Refugee Service remain concerned by widespread abuses committed against children by armed forces and armed groups. Although significant progress has been made to protect children from armed conflict in the DRC, there is still a long way to go to prevent the recruitment of children, improve assistance to former child soldiers, and end impunity.
London, 11 November, 2014 - The passing of legislation to criminalise underage recruitment in the Afghan National Security Forces constitutes a significant step in protecting the rights of Afghan children, Child Soldiers International said today. Last week, the Afghan Lower House of Parliament approved the draft law which criminalises the recruitment and use of children in state security forces.
The US government is continuing to exercise pressure through the application of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) by granting partial waivers to some states in order to end their unlawful recruitment and use of children in conflict. In its 2014 Trafficking in Persons report, the US Department of State listed nine states, namely the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Chad, this year, does not figure in the list compiled by the US State Department.
(New York) – Over one hundred civil society groups from around the world issued the following statement today to urge the United Nations Security Council to approve a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court:
We, the undersigned civil society groups, urge United Nations Security Council members to approve a draft resolution supported by a broad coalition of countries that would refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In 2013, the deployment of Chadian troops to Mali triggered intense international and national efforts to expedite the implementation of the Action Plan on children associated with armed forces and groups (the Action Plan). As a result, since May 2013 a significant number of reforms to end and prevent child recruitment in Chad have been implemented or initiated, including the criminalisation of child recruitment and use in hostilities in Chadian law.
London, 29 November 2013 - The Myanmar government should renew its commitment to take concrete measures to end the ongoing unlawful recruitment of children into its army Child Soldier International said, on the eve of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict’s visit to Myanmar. The visit offers an important opportunity for the Working Group to reiterate its August 2013 recommendations in its meetings with Myanmar government officials, leaders of armed opposition groups, and the donor and international community.