Not a single child untouched by recent Gaza conflict, says UN rights expert
September 29, 2014
(UN News Centre) - There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today. At the end of his first mission to the region, Makarim Wibisono, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, expressed alarm at the terrible cost paid by Palestinian civilians, especially children in Gaza, as a result of Israel’s military operation that lasted 50 days in the summer of this year. According to a press release on his findings, the latest round of violence from 7 July to 26 August 2014 has left 1,479 civilians, including 506 children dead. A staggering 11,231 Palestinian civilians, including 3,436 children were injured, many, now struggling with life-long disabilities. Tens of thousands of children live with the trauma of having witnessed the horrific killings of family members, friends, and neighbours before their own eyes.
Guns ’n grammar: Yemen school occupied by rebels
September 29, 2014
(Agence France-Press/The National) - Back to school for young Yemenis in Sanaa on Monday was a stark reminder of why many missed classes in the first place – rebels were using it as an arms dump. Shiite rebels had swept into the north of the city from their northern mountain stronghold, pressing the authorities for reforms and a greater say in the impoverished country’s affairs. After days of brief but bloody fighting, mainly in the north of the city where the Shamlan school is located, the Houthi rebels, known as Ansarullah, occupied it after overrunning Sanaa on September 21. Children who turned up on Monday after the school was supposed to have reopened found the gates firmly shut and ended up having classes in the street outside.
Joint NGO Letter of the Situation in Nigeria
September 25, 2014
(Watchlist) – On 25 September, jointly with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict issued a letter on the situation in Nigeria to the President of Nigeria, Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The joint NGO letter expresses concerns about the crisis in northeastern Nigeria and its toll on the civilian population.
Countries Share Lessons in Line with UN campaign ‘Children, Not Soldiers’
September 25, 2014
(OSRSG-CAAC) - Joint statement by Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui: During the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Minister for Africa James Duddridge and Special Representative, Leila Zerrougui held a Ministerial roundtable on 25 September with several countries to identify ways to accelerate progress in ending and preventing the recruitment and use of children in conflict situations by national security forces. The meeting was held in support of the UN campaign, ‘Children Not Soldiers’. Ministers and Representatives from Afghanistan, Chad, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen, Liberia and Sierra Leone were joined by the Peace and Security Commissioner of the African Union. They shared lessons on ending the recruitment and use of children by government forces in conflict situations and to also help those with UN Action Plans accelerate their implementation.
League of Arab States Takes Steps to Better Protect Children Affected by Armed Conflict
September 22, 2014
(OSRSG-CAAC) - The League of Arab States and the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict entered into an agreement today to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict in the Arab world. The Cooperation Agreement was signed by Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, and the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Jan Eliasson. “This agreement is an important step to ensure the protection of children in the Arab world,” said Dr. Nabil Elaraby. I welcome this initiative and look forward to working closely with the UN Special Representative USG Leila Zerrougui, to achieve our common goal: an Arab world where children – the future of our region – can grow up in peace.”
Are We Listening?
September 19, 2014
(International Rescue Committee) - For the millions of women and girls whose lives have been uprooted by the more than three-year-old Syrian crisis, daily life is an exhausting struggle – from searching for clean water and food for their families, to navigating foreign cities or refugee camps while trying to stay safe and avoid harassment, to grappling with threats of domestic violence in their own homes. Drawing on interactions with thousands of women and girls in the region, the International Rescue Committee has published a report shedding light on the challenges facing displaced Syrian women and girls, as expressed in their own words. The question is…are we listening? Are we listening to what they have to say – and are we responding to their words with action?
EDUCATION NEVER BEEN DEADLIER FOR SYRIA’S CHILDREN, SAVE THE CHILDREN REPORT SAYS
September 18, 2014
(Save the Children) - Education is now one of the deadliest pursuits for children and teachers inside Syria, as the country’s schools are increasingly being damaged and destroyed in the conflict. Save the Children’s educational facilities in northern Syria have been affected by air strikes, shelling and explosions at least once a month over the last year. Only last June, air strikes forced staff to be evacuated from one of the schools supported by the children’s agency, while in August another school was severely damaged in an attack. Across Syria, at least 3,465 schools have been destroyed or damaged, and many have been occupied for military purposes.
“The Power These Men Have Over Us”
September 8, 2014
(Human Rights Watch) – This 71-page report documents the sexual exploitation and abuse of Somali women and girls on two AMISOM bases in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, since 2013. The AU soldiers, relying on Somali intermediaries, have used a range of tactics, including humanitarian aid, to coerce vulnerable women and girls into sexual activity. They have also raped or otherwise sexually assaulted women who were seeking medical assistance or water at AMISOM bases. Human Rights Watch interviewed 21 women and girls who described being raped or sexually exploited by Ugandan or Burundian military personnel serving with the AU forces.
Watchlist Press Release: September 2014 Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict
September 8, 2014
(Watchlist Press Release) – Today, the UN Security Council is discussing the 13th Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict in the open debate hosted by the United States.
Security Council told of indiscriminate, brutal killings children face in conflict
September 8, 2014
(UN News Centre) - The multiplication of crises affecting children since the beginning of 2014 is creating unprecedented challenges that overshadow progress to date to protect them from the impact of war, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, said that she was appalled by the total disregard for human life shown by extremist armed groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Boko Haram. The situation also remains dire in Syria, she said as she presented the Secretary-General’s latest report on children and armed conflict.