Analysis: Targeted assistance needed for DRC’s former child soldiers
July 3, 2014

(IRIN) - Recent high profile moves against militia commanders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have done little to stem child recruitment into armed groups, and much more needs to be done to prevent it, stop re-recruitment, and rehabilitate victims. On 9 June, the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against former Congolese general Bosco Ntaganda, including the “enlistment and conscription of child soldiers under the age of fifteen years and using them to participate actively in hostilities”.

 

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UNICEF reaches displaced children in Iraq’s Sinjar Province
July 2, 2014

(UNICEF) - UNICEF said today it made its first delivery of essential humanitarian supplies to Sinjar, a town in the western Ninevah Governorate of Iraq, to assist some of the thousands of people who fled there over the past few days. ”The situation for children is dire,” said Marzio Babille, UNICEF Representative in Iraq on his return from Sinjar. “There were over 8000 families, with hundreds of children living in a stadium, others in a religious shrine, playing among tombstones. They may feel safer here, but they are very scared and confused about this brutal change in their daily routine.”

 

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UNICEF Statement on violence against children in Jerusalem and the West Bank
July 2, 2014

(UNICEF) – “The justified outrage at the killing of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem today, and that seen at the funerals yesterday of three young Israelis murdered in the West Bank, are a reminder that we must never become accustomed to such attacks against children, anywhere, in any way, and at any time. We condemn all these most recent killings because they are terrible crimes and also because nothing could be more damaging to hopes for peace in the region. Killing children and deliberate violence against them are unpardonable crimes for which perpetrators must be held accountable.”

 

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At least 81 children recruited in 2013, 43 killed in Colombia armed conflict: UN report
July 2, 2014

(Colombia Reports) - Even as the violence shows signs of winding down, with peace talks underway between the government and the country’s largest rebel groups, children continue to suffer the direct effects of Colombia’s 50-year armed conflict. An annual report put together for the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) Security Council found that at least 81 Colombian children had been recruited into illegal armed groups in 2013. Of those, 58 children went to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s largest rebel group and 17 to the National Liberation Army (ELN), its second largest, while in six cases, the group in question could not be identified.

 

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UN: Report Shames Wartime Abusers of Children
July 1, 2014

(Human Rights Watch) – All parties implicated in a new United Nations’ report about abuses of children during armed conflict should call an immediate halt to these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict was released on July 1, 2014. The report lists parties to armed conflict that are documented to have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law against children. These include recruiting and using children in their operations, killing and maiming children, sexual violence against children, or attacks on schools or hospitals. Human Rights Watch cited inconsistencies in the UN monitoring and reporting, however, which may reduce the report’s effectiveness.

 

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Syria: ISIS Holds 130 Kurdish Children
July 1, 2014

(Human Rights Watch) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) should immediately release the estimated 133 Kurdish boys it has held hostage in northern Syria for a month. ISIS abducted 153 children, ages 13 and 14, from the mostly Kurdish town of Ain al-`Arab (Kobani in Kurdish) on May 29, 2014, as they returned from taking year-end exams in the city of Aleppo. Five boys escaped and ISIS released 15 others on June 28, apparently in return for the release of three ISIS members held by Kurdish forces.

 

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Efforts to put a definitive end to child recruitment in Chad should continue
July 1, 2014

(Child Soldiers International) - Efforts to ensure effective and durable protection against underage recruitment in Chad must not be relaxed after the UN Secretary-General announces today the delisting of the Chadian armed forces in his annual report on children and armed conflict. This is why, in partnership with UNICEF, Child Soldiers International has published and disseminated a booklet entitled: “A child must not be a soldier!” intended to promote awareness of existing laws and policies banning child recruitment in Chad, and to mobilise military, administrative and judicial authorities, as well as Chadian civil society and international actors, to take an active part in preventing this practice.

 

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Child Rights Violated in Conflict Situations With Total Impunity, Says Leila Zerrougui
July 1, 2014

(OSRSG-CAAC) - The rights of children are being violated in conflict situations with total impunity, a United Nations official said today, as she presented a report on grave abuses committed against children in places such as Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR). “What is common to most of these conflict situations is that child rights are violated in total impunity,” said Leila Zerrougui, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict. “If we are serious about protecting children, we must demand accountability.”

 

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Media Advisory: Presentation of the 13th Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict
June 30, 2014

(OSRSG-CAAC) - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, will present the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict on Tuesday, July 1, during the Noon Briefing at the UN Secretariat. The report presents information about grave violations committed against children in 23 country situations, including Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and the Central African Republic. The report also includes the list of armed groups and armed forces who kill and maim, recruit and use children, commit sexual violence against children and/or attack schools and hospitals in conflict zones.

 

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Iraq: Displaced girls, women face increasing risk of sexual violence, UN warns
June 30, 2014

(UN News) - An estimated 20,000 women and girls in Iraq are at an increased risk of sexual violence as a result of the mounting crisis in northern and western parts of the country, warned the United Nations today, urging immediate action to ensure their protection. “We must act immediately to ensure that women and girls are protected from sexual violence,” said Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, stressing that the international community must not wait for cases to be counted and documented in detail ”before we act.”

 

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