Central African Republic militia ‘killed’ children
December 4, 2013
(BBC News) - A Christian militia is suspected to have killed 12 people, including children, and wounded 30 others in an attack in the Central African Republic (CAR), officials say. The attackers appeared to have targeted a mainly Muslim community north of the capital, Bangui, the officials said. The UN Security Council is due to vote on peacekeeping operations in CAR. It has been gripped by conflict since rebels seized power in March. Ex-President Francois Bozize was ousted in a rebellion led by the Seleka group.
Myanmar still enlists boy soldiers despite reforms
December 2, 2013
(Washington Post) - He disappeared when he was 12 years old, a skinny boy named Min Thu from the wrong side of town who thought he’d stumbled onto the golden ticket. It began one afternoon when a swaggering, potbellied businessman bumped into Thu at the market, offering him an escape from a neighborhood where the houses are made of lumberyard scraps and the air smells of fish and decay and woodsmoke. It ended with four years in the army. The businessman, a small-town mogul of plastic kitchenware and cheap polyester clothing, has three tiny shops. To Thu, whose father makes a living pedaling a bicycle rickshaw through the streets of this small beachside town, he seemed impossibly successful.
Education struggling to gear up in Mauritania’s Mbera camp
December 2, 2013
(IRIN) - Just 4,298 of the 14,000 primary school-aged children in Mbera refugee camp in eastern Mauritania are enrolled in camp schools, aid agencies estimate. Now that the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is moving on from covering the emergency needs to longer-term issues, agencies are grappling with the challenge of getting enough schools built, improving education quality, and coming up with a continuum plan so that Malian refugee children have decent schools to return to when they go home.
Malian authorities must release children detained in prison
November 30, 2013
(Amnesty International) - The Malian authorities must immediately release five children that have been detained in a military detention centre for over seven months, says Amnesty International today as it releases a Human Rights Agenda for Mali, in the country’s capital. An Amnesty International delegation, led by the Secretary General, Salil Shetty, met the five children between the ages of 15 and 17 in the military detention centre (Gendarmerie Camp) in Bamako.
Nigeria: Boko Haram Abducts Women, Recruits Children
November 29, 2013
(Human Rights Watch) - Boko Haram has abducted scores of women and girls, used children as young as 12 in hostilities, and killed hundreds of people in recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nigerian government, meanwhile, has failed to account for hundreds of men and boys whom security forces have rounded up and forcibly disappeared during Boko Haram’s four-year insurgency.
The Future of Syria – Refugee Children in Crisis
November 29, 2013
(UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency, in a report released on Friday, says staggering numbers of Syrian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon are growing up in fractured families, missing out on education and serving as their household’s primary breadwinner. ”If we do not act quickly, a generation of innocents will become lasting casualties of an appalling war,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on the release of the report, which covers refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Back from DR Congo, senior UN official urges more focus on protection of children
November 26, 2013
(UN News Centre) – Former child soldiers and girls used as sex slaves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) desperately wish to be reunited with their communities – to return to school or get jobs a United Nations envoy said today, urging authorities to seize every opportunity to better protect children affected by conflict-related violence. In her first press conference since returning from the eastern DRC, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui told reporters in New York that there are positive signs the Congolese Government has taken steps to aid children caught up in the conflict.
Significant Progress by Chadian Authorities in the implementation of the Action Plan to end recruitment and use of children
November 25, 2013
(OSRSG-CAC) - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Leila Zerrougui, welcomes the significant progress made in the past six months by the Government of Chad to prevent the recruitment of children by its national army.
Syria conflict: Children ‘targeted by snipers’
November 23, 2013
(BBC) - More than 11,000 children have died in Syria’s civil war in nearly three years, including hundreds targeted by snipers, a new report says. Summary executions and torture have also been used against children as young as one, the London-based Oxford Research Group think tank says. The report says the majority of children have been killed by bombs or shells in their own neighbourhoods.
Child soldiers swell fighters’ ranks in Central African Republic: U.N.
November 22, 2013
(Reuters) - The number of child soldiers in Central African Republic has more than doubled to as many as 6,000 in recent months as self-defense militia have sprung up to counter waves of attacks by former rebels, the United Nations said on Friday. World powers, led by France, are scrambling to contain a crisis that Paris and U.N. officials have warned could lead to genocide in Central African Republic, which slipped into chaos after rebels ousted the president in March. Some 400,000 people have fled their homes since the uprising and the tit-for-tat killings that followed.