Watchlist Press Release: March 2014 Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict
March 7, 2014
(Watchlist Press Release) – Today, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution urging all parties in armed conflicts around the world to respect and protect schools from attacks and use by armed forces or groups. In situations of armed conflict, schools are often targeted for strategic purposes, such as for training and recruitment, or used as barracks, detention centers, and weapons and ammunition storage.
Recruitment and use of children in government forces in conflict must end
March 6, 2014
(OSRSG-CAAC) – Press Release: Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Leila Zerrougui and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake today unveiled a new effort to end the recruitment and use of children in government forces in conflict by 2016.
Girl soldier: Stories from a civil war
March 5, 2014
(MSNBC) - In Sierra Leone’s civil war, young girls were captured, raped, forced to take up arms and kill innocent civilians. More than a decade later, they share their stories, and reflect on the long term consequences and effects these horrors had on their lives. (Video)
Chad/CAR: New humanitarian crisis for those fleeing violence in CAR
March 5, 2014
(Amnesty International) – Press release: A delegation from Amnesty International has spent the last two weeks interviewing survivors of violence in CAR and visiting the sites where they are staying along the Chad / CAR border and in the capital N’Djamena. The delegates found thousands of people who had been neglected by the authorities and humanitarian agencies, many suffering from severe malnutrition and with no shelter other than the shade of trees. Among them were a large number of children, many separated from their families in the chaos, and in urgent need of assistance.
Randwick man and former child soldier embark on journey to Freedom Peak
March 5, 2014
(The Telegraph) - At 10 years old, Jonathan Okwir was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), taken into the bush and trained to kill with a machete and gun. Along with thousands of other child soldiers, Mr Okwir was forced to commit violent acts on others, including killing a young child. Now almost a decade later Mr Okwir has emerged from his experience wanting to be a leader, dedicating his life to helping and honouring the abductees and victims of the LRA.
Top UN official in West Africa urges end to ‘unprecedented’ spate of violence in Nigeria
March 4, 2014
(UN News) – Borno, along with Nigeria’s northern states of Adamawa and Yobe, have been under states of emergency since May 2013 as the army fights Islamist Boko Haram rebels. The region has been prone to attacks by Islamic militants who have notoriously targeted civilians, including students and worshippers, politicians, members of Government institutions and foreign nationals. The continuing violence has displaced thousands of people, mainly to neighbouring Cameroon and Niger.
Fresh fighting hampering efforts to help children in South Sudan, UNICEF warns
March 4, 2014
( UN News) - Outbreaks of fresh fighting in South Sudan is likely to displace tens of thousands of additional people and is hampering efforts to help children in need, warns UNICEF. “South Sudan’s dream risks becoming a nightmare for the country’s children,” Mr. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF’s Director of Emergency Programmes, warned in a news release issued in the capital, Juba. Nearly 900,000 people – half of them children – have already been forced from their homes as a result of the recent conflict in South Sudan, which achieved its independence in July 2011 after seceding from Sudan.
Attacks kill dozens in area of Nigeria targeted by Boko Haram
March 2, 2014
(The Guardian) - At least 74 people have been killed in three weekend attacks in Nigeria’s restive north-east, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives since 2009. On Saturday, two blasts in a crowded district of Maiduguri left at least 35 dead. A Red Cross volunteer said he had “succeeded in evacuating 51 dead bodies” after working all night. “Children are most affected,” he said, adding that nearly 60 people were injured
Students and teachers deliberately targeted in violent conflicts
February 28, 2014
(ABC.net.au) – Human rights activists say schools and students are being deliberately targeted in conflicts throughout the world. New research from a coalition of organisations, including Save the Children, has found 70 countries where educational institutions were targeted in the last four years and the attacks include violence, torture, intimidation, and bombing. (Interview)
Attacking Education a War Tactic Globally, Study Shows
February 27, 2014
(GCPEA) - Schools and universities, as well as students, teachers, and academics are intentionally targeted for attack in conflicts worldwide, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack said in a 250-page study released today. “Education Under Attack 2014” identifies 70 countries where attacks occurred between 2009 and 2013, including 30 where there was a pattern of deliberate attacks.