With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner
August 1, 2015

(UN News Centre) – The top representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Myanmar has reminded candidates from more than 80 political parties running in historic elections 99 days from today “to make new commitments for children” to improve spending for health, education and social welfare that remains the lowest in the Southeast Asian region. “Building a better future for Myanmar’s children is the most strategic and important investment that can be made in Myanmar’s future,” said UNICEF representative Bertrand Bainvel. “In this important election, UNICEF calls on all political parties and all voters to make sure one group – Myanmar’s children – is the clear winner.”

 

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U.S. indicts Borno Govt. over use of child soldiers
July 29, 2015

( Premium Times)- Despite efforts by Nigeria’s central government to combat human trafficking and servitude, the Borno State government in the country’s north east, plagued by Boko Haram insurgency, actively supported the recruitment of child soldiers in the last one year, the United States government has said in its latest report on human trafficking. The report, released Monday, praised the Nigerian government for its efforts at fighting trafficking and ranked Nigeria in its Tier two category – the same rating the country received in 2014. The report however criticised the Borno government headed by Governor Kashim Shettima for supporting a group involved with the recruitment and use of child soldiers in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.

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Dispatches: A Mixed US Report on Child Soldiers
July 28, 2015

(HRW) – Yesterday the United States State Department released a new snapshot of how governments around the world are doing in ending their use of child soldiers. Its 2015 list names eight governments – Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – for recruiting or using children in their armed forces, or supporting militias or other armed groups that use child soldiers.

 

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Nigerian army liberates dozens of women and children held by Boko Haram
July 28, 2015

(AFP) – Nigeria’s army said Tuesday it had liberated 30 hostages held by Boko Haram, including 21 children and seven women, amid ongoing offensives against the extremists in the country’s northeast. Army officials said the operation to free the captives took place in the town of Dikwa in Borno State, which had fallen to Boko Haram twice since April, and was recaptured by Nigerian troops last week.

 

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Summer camp for Iraqi Shiite boys: Training to fight IS
July 28, 2015

(AP) – In the steamy Baghdad night, sweat poured down the faces of the Iraqi teens as they marched around a school courtyard, training for battle against the Islamic State group. This is summer camp in Iraq, set up by the country’s largest paramilitary force after Iraq’s top Shiite cleric issued an edict calling on students as young as middle-school age to use their summer vacations to prepare to fight the Sunni extremists. Dressed in military fatigues, 15-year-old Asam Riad was among the dozens of youths doing high-knee marches, his chest puffed out to try to appear as tall as the older cadets.

 

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TFV Board of Directors meets to discuss Lubanga reparations plan
July 28, 2015

(The Hague Justice Portal) – On July 21-22 2015, the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the ICC convened in an extraordinary meeting in The Hague to review and discuss progress made in the development of a draft implementation plan for reparations, in the case against Mr Thomas Lubanga, to the benefit of former child soldiers in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Acknowledging the preliminary results of the TFV Secretariat’s consultations with local communities and potentially eligible victims, as well as of an international expert meeting, the TFV Board endorsed the approach undertaken and reiterated the strong interest that it has in ensuring that the draft reparations implementation plan is responsive to the rights and expectations of eligible victims of Mr Lubanga’s crimes – and as such, provides a solid foundation for collective reparations awards to be a meaningful redress of the harm that victims have suffered.

 

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Yemen: Coalition Strikes on Residence Apparent War Crime
July 27, 2015

(HRW) – Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members.

 

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Top UN relief official in Yemen warns of conflict’s ‘catastrophic’ consequences; urges humanitarian access
July 27, 2015

(UN News Centre) – Witnessing first-hand the “shocking” devastation in Yemen’s main port city of Aden, the top United Nations relief official in the country today declared that the humanitarian consequences of the conflict are “catastrophic,” making an urgent plea for safe, unhindered access for aid workers and a major scale-up of funding. “The intensification of violence and conflict over the past four months have devastated the city and destroyed the lives and livelihoods of the majority of its people. As has become all too familiar in contexts of war, civilians are paying the heaviest price,” the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, said in a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

 

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Yemen: as conflict disrupts education for nearly two million children, UNICEF backs ‘catch-up’ classes
July 24, 2015

(UN News Centre) –  With intensive bombardments and street fighting in Yemen forcing more than 3,600 schools across the country to close and disrupting education for some 1.8 million children, the top United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official there appealed today to the warring parties to respect the safety of schools. “Giving Yemen’s children an education is crucial for their own futures as well as those of their families and communities,” Julien Harneis, UNICEF Representative in Yemen said in a press statement issued in the capital, Sana’a. “We are doing all we can to return children to school so that they don’t completely lose out on their education,” Mr. Harneis said. “We urge the parties to the conflict to respect the safety of schools so as to give children a chance to learn.”

 

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Joint CRIN-CSI briefing on the MRM
July 24, 2015

(Child Soldiers International) – The 26th of July marks 10 years since the UN Security Council established the monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM): a global process designed to hold to account those who commit grave violations of children’s rights during armed conflict. After recent criticism of the UN for its failure to apply MRM standards to Israel, this anniversary is an opportunity to take stock and identify challenges that impede the functioning of the mechanism. Indeed, the strong influence of Security Council Member States and other powerful governments over the process has, in certain instances, politicised the mechanism and undermined its primary objective of being an evidence based tool with the potential to have a tangible and positive impact on the lives of children in conflict-affected countries. This paper, produced by Child Soldiers International and the Child Rights International Network (CRIN), briefly reviews how the MRM works and proposes a series of recommendations based on its potential and current challenges.

 

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