UN slams using children as soldiers in conflicts

Published: March 7, 2014

United Nations, March 8 (IANS) — The UN Security Council Friday unanimously adopted a resolution strongly condemning the recruitment of children in armed conflicts and attacks against schools and hospitals.

The endorsement came a day after the launch of the “Children, Not Soldiers” campaign, initiated by Leila Zerrougui, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative for children and armed conflict, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to end the recruitment and use of children in conflict by 2016, Xinhua reported.

Fifteen years have passed since the UN Security Council adopted its first resolution specifically dedicated to protecting children from armed conflict. In Friday’s resolution, the UN body made the first reference to the use of schools by armed forces.

The military use of schools is in contravention of applicable international law, the council said. “Such use may render schools legitimate targets of attack, thus endangering children’s and teachers’ safety as well as children’s education.”

It urged all parties to armed conflict to respect the civilian character of schools, and member states to ensure that attacks on schools are investigated and those responsible duly prosecuted.

According to UN figures, more than 250,000 children under 18 are fighting in both government armies and armed opposition groups. Some children are kidnapped and forced to serve; others join up hoping to find food and shelter, help their families or improve their lives.

Because of their emotional and physical immaturity, children are easy to manipulate and can be drawn into violence that they are too young to resist or understand, it said. Some have been used for suicide missions or forced to commit atrocities against their own families and neighbours.

“Children should be armed with pens and textbooks, not guns and grenades,” Ban said at an open debate on children and armed conflict during which the resolution has been endorsed.

“All children deserve and are entitled to protection, not exploitation. They belong in school, not armies and fighting groups,” he added.

Zerrougui noted attacks on schools and hospitals, as well as the killing and maiming of children, continue unabated in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said while the world has made real progress in recent years, more must be done.

Verifying the ages of soldiers is an important first step, said Lake, as is birth registration. Meanwhile, efforts could be done to promote greater awareness at the community level of the need to end child recruitment, and address the specific needs of child soldiers emerging from conflict as they seek to reintegrate into society.

“With support, investment and encouragement, we can help these young men and women rebuild their lives, transform themselves and their societies, and help their countries emerge from the shadow of conflict,” he said.

The use of children to fight wars, now a worldwide problem, is most acute in Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, industrialised countries facing personnel shortfalls have also increased efforts to attract young recruits.

IANS 2014-03-08 07:18:04

[+]

Tags: , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Minister of advanced education Amrik Virk is seen during a ceremony in announcing the B.C. Liberals new cabinet in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Friday, June 7, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Virk switched out of advanced education portfolio as gov’t updates findings in Kwantlen compensation probe

CASSIDY OLIVIER VANCOUVER DESI Premier Christy Clark shuffled her embattled minister of advanced education to another portfolio on Thursday amid new revelations that he was…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Surrey vigil

Surrey mourns for victims of Pakistani Taliban terrorist attack with vigil (w/gallery)

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW NORTH SURREY — Hundreds gathered in the drizzling rain at Holland Park Wednesday night to light candles and mourn the murder of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Minister of advanced education Amrik Virk is seen during a ceremony in announcing the B.C. Liberals new cabinet in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Friday, June 7, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Virk switched out of advanced education portfolio as gov’t updates findings in Kwantlen compensation probe

CASSIDY OLIVIER VANCOUVER DESI Premier Christy Clark shuffled her embattled minister of advanced education to another portfolio on Thursday amid new revelations that he was…
Continue Reading »

Surrey vigil

Surrey mourns for victims of Pakistani Taliban terrorist attack with vigil (w/gallery)

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW NORTH SURREY — Hundreds gathered in the drizzling rain at Holland Park Wednesday night to light candles and mourn the murder of…
Continue Reading »

Sikhs to quit Trudeau's Liberals

Sikhs ‘across Canada’ to jump Trudeau ship

Nominations issue: ‘We are not Liberals, that’s for sure,’ says general secretary of Vancouver temple LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A large group of Sikhs in…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

MTV Roadies a way of life for youth

‘MTV Roadies’ now lifestyle for youth, says Rannvijay Singh

IANS Kolkata – Popular video jockey-turned-actor Rannvijay Singh Thursday spoke about the originality of reality TV show “MTV Roadies”, and said the series has become…
Continue Reading »

TALIBAN ATTACK

Pakistani Taliban school attack: ‘I’ll never forget the boots approaching me… I felt death was approaching me’

ASHFAQ YUSUFZAI, HARRIET ALEXANDER And RICHARD SPENCER THE DAILY TELEGRAPH PESHAWAR/LONDON — The attack was meticulously planned and, once the Taliban had decided that even…
Continue Reading »

Ageless skin-beauty-anti-ageing

Forever young? UBC researchers may have stumbled upon the secret to youthful skin

Mice without a certain enzyme didn’t appear to age RANDY SHORE POSTMEDIA NEWS Scientists at the University of B.C. searching for ways to slow the…
Continue Reading »

deportation-Canada

No hope for deported Pakistani woman to return to Saskatoon as Ottawa closes case

THE CANADIAN PRESS SASKATOON — The lawyer for a woman deported to Pakistan says there is no hope left that she will be allowed to…
Continue Reading »

Ashiana Complex Delhi

‘I have to hide my face in public, the man who raped me roams free’

HINDUSTAN TIMES They say time flies. But for me it got stuck 10 years ago. I was a victim waiting for justice then and I…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Acting blind to beg on Indian streets earned him a mini role in Aamir Khan’s PK

HINDUSTAN TIMES Call it blind luck. Feigning blindness ensured Manoj Roy a few extra coins in his begging bowl. The act was good enough for…
Continue Reading »

Celebs lost in 2014-year in review

Gallery: Celebrities we lost in 2014

VANCOUVER DESI From actors Deven Verma, Zohra Sehgal to Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hollywood and Bollywood lost some legends this year. We take…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Hollywood

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra signs deal with ABC Television Studios

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who has already made inroads into foreign shores with her music, has signed a one-year TV development deal…
Continue Reading »