UN welcomes Afghanistan’s recommitment to end recruitment of child soldiers
August 1, 2014

(UN News) - Afghanistan took another step forward in protecting children from being recruited into and used by national security forces, a move welcomed today by the United Nations. The Government recently endorsed a so-called “road map,” supported by the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in their roles as co-chairs of the UN-led Country Task Force on Children and Armed Conflict.

 

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Myanmar: UN welcomes release of child soldiers, commitment to get them educated
August 1, 2014

(UN News) - Myanmar released dozens of children and young adults from its armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, the United Nations today confirmed, welcoming also efforts to get the people away from guns and into classrooms. The group of 91 people arrived in the capital, Yangon, earlier this week where, for many of them, they met their families for the first time after several years of separation, according to the office of the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

 

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Briefing to the UN Security Council Working Group on the recruitment and use of children in the DRC – July 2014
July 31, 2014

(Child Soldiers International) - This briefing was submitted to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict on 22 July in order to provide an assessment of progress made since the 2010 Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as recommendations for further actions, with regard to compliance with the 2012 Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children as well as other grave child rights violations by the armed and security forces of the DRC.

The briefing reveals that notable steps were taken to end the use of child soldiers in the DRC armed forces since the Secretary-General’s previous report , but that child recruitment incidents increased significantly in 2012 due to renewed conflict in the east and have remained high since. The main perpetrators are armed groups (Congolese and foreign).

 

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Colombia: FARC Battering Afro-Colombian Areas
July 30, 2014

(Human Rights Watch) - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas are committing widespread abuses with impunity in the mostly Afro-Colombian city of Tumaco and its surrounding rural areas, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch documented a wide range of abuses committed against scores of victims in Tumaco in 2013 and 2014 in which there is compelling evidence the FARC was responsible. These abuses included killings, disappearances, kidnapping, torture, forced displacement, attempted forced recruitment, planting landmines, extortion, and death threats against community leaders. Official data indicates the FARC has also committed sexual violence in Tumaco in 2013 and 2014.

 

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Dispatches: Gaza’s Schools on the Battlefield
July 30, 2014

(Human Rights Watch) –  On July 30 a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) came under attack.  At least 15 people died and scores more were wounded, including women and children who were sheltering there. It was the second UN school hit in a week. But these were not the first schools in Gaza  to come under attack, nor the first  in which children were among  the  casualties.

Attacks on schools not only threaten the lives of children and adults taking shelter there, but have a devastating impact on children that lasts way beyond the conflict.

 

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Leila Zerrougui: No Safe Place for the Children Of Gaza
July 30, 2014

(OSRG-CAAC) - Statement by Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict “After three weeks of conflict, no one can doubt that there are no safe places for the children of Gaza. Today, another UN school, used to shelter 3,300 displaced people was hit by Israeli shelling, despite clear information provided to the Israeli army from the UN that the school was housing IDPs. Civilians, including children, were killed and injured. I strongly condemn this grave violation of international law.

 

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Is the UN peacekeeper selection process flawed?
July 29, 2014

(IRIN) - Reports on BangladeshIndiaNepal, and Nigeria released in July 2014 at the Open Society Institute in New York reveal failures in human rights vetting for soldiers in countries that contribute to UN peacekeeping operations. “These are four of the top seven troop-contributing countries in the world, so their policies and practices on the ground are important to what happens when people are deployed in the field,” said Jerry Fowler, senior policy analyst at Open Society Policy Center. There are currently more than 82,000 troops deployed on UN peacekeeping missions around the world. 

 

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5th Report on Children and Armed Conflict in the DR Congo Highlights Progress and Concerns for the Protection of Children
July 21, 2014

(OSRSG-CAAC) - The recruitment and use of children by armed groups remained endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2010 and 2013. Children were severely affected by several waves of conflict, especially in the country’s eastern provinces. They were killed, maimed, victims of sexual violence and abducted by all parties involved in the conflict. Hundreds of schools and hospitals were attacked or used for military purposes. These are the main conclusions of the 5th report of the Secretary-General on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo presented today by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict.

 

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The child soldiers of South Sudan
July 19, 2014

(Al Jazeera) - These days, soldiers are the only people loitering around the market in this once-bustling oil town. They loaf about in plastic chairs, wander bored or drunk and lean against the skeletons of abandoned beds and buildings. Others ply the goods that now absent shopkeepers used to trade, although these wares are looted from former residents. Machine-gun-mounted pick-up trucks pull up and spit out more soldiers. The Rubkona market near Bentiu, capital of South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State, is not just a place for grown men. Children wear the uniforms of the national army, the SPLA – and it isn’t just dress-up.

 

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Protect Teachers from Wartime Attacks: New Report Shows Educators Are Targeted in Armed Conflict
July 14, 2014

(GCPEA) - Attacks on teachers and other educators are a disturbingly common tactic of war and a serious threat to education, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said in a new study released today, Protecting Education Personnel from Targeted Attack in Conflict-Affected Countries. The report describes how teachers have been targeted around the world and documents various ways communities have tried to keep them safe. 

 

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