Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is listed for the recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abductions, and attacks on schools and hospitals. In April, the Council will receive the Secretary-General’s (SG) progress report on UNAMI pursuant to SCR 2299 (2016). In his latest report (S/2017/75, para. 31), the SG noted calls by the co-chairs of the Country Task Force on Children and Armed Conflict (CTFMR), UNAMI, and UNICEF for the Government to activate the inter-ministerial committee on grave violations of the rights of children. In December 2016, in northern Iraq, Human Right Watch reported that armed groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) abducted and recruited children to fight against ISIL, citing 29 cases between 2014 and 2016. The Security Council should:

  • Reinforce calls by UNAMI and UNICEF, the Co-Chairs of the CTFMR, and urge the Government to establish an inter-ministerial committee on Security Council Resolution 1612 to facilitate direct dialogue between the UN, Government representatives, and other relevant actors to discuss and address violations of children’s rights, action plans, and conclusions by the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict;
  • Urge the Government to treat children associated with armed groups primarily as victims and to ensure that their deprivation of liberty, for any purpose, is a measure of last resort, and for the shortest possible time, and to respect existing international principles and juvenile justice standards while dealing with detention of children formerly associated with armed groups;
  • Call upon the SG to collect and verify information regarding the PKK’s recruitment and use of children for the purposes of determining a listing in his upcoming annual report on children and armed conflict;
  • Urge the Government of Iraq to criminalize recruitment and use by all parties and fully commit to developing a joint strategy with the UN and other key stakeholders for preventing recruitment and use of children by armed groups;
  • Urge the Government and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Commission under the Prime Minister’s Office to work with the UN on ending and preventing recruitment and use of children by the PMF and pro-Government militias, and release all children currently associated with them and assist their reintegration, including with help from religious leaders.

United States is the lead country on Iraq.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: April 2017.

UN Action

Year listed: 2009
Action Plans signed: No
Sanctions Committee: Sanctions Committee concerning Iraq
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Iraq: 2015; 2011 
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Iraq: 2016; 2011
UN Mission: UNAMI

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQ-I)* a, b a a a, b, d a, b, d a,b,d
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)* a, b a, b, d a, b, d a,b,d a,b,c,d a,b,c,d,e

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.