The Afghan National Police (ANP), including the Afghan Local Police (ALP), are listed in the Secretary-General’s latest report on children and armed conflict for recruitment and use of children. Four armed groups are listed for recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children. Of these, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP) is also listed for attacks on schools and hospitals, and the Taliban for attacks on schools and hospitals and abductions. UNAMA’s mandate is due for renewal in September. Despite progress in talks between the US and the Taliban, children and other civilians continue to bear the brunt of escalating violence. In July, UNAMA recorded more than 1,500 civilian casualties – the highest number documented in a single month since May 2017 – a significant portion of which it attributes to targeted attacks against civilians by Anti-Government Elements (AGEs). Preparations for this year’s presidential election, currently scheduled for September, also add to the risks for children. In previous elections, the Taliban and other armed groups attacked voter registration and polling centers, including many schools used as such, endangering children’s lives and their right to education. Girls face particular challenges accessing schools as a result of attacks or threats of attack by armed groups who oppose girls’ education, and many fear that any future government including the Taliban might once again ban or limit education for girls. Restrictions on humanitarian access, as well as general insecurity, are preventing children from accessing essential services. In the first half of 2019 alone, the UN had already recorded 197 incidents of denial of humanitarian access, equaling some 85 percent of all incidents recorded in 2018.

The UN Security Council should:

  • Renew UNAMA’s child protection mandate, and to ensure its implementation, request the Secretary-General to strengthen specific and dedicated child protection capacity within UNAMA; in subsequent budget negotiations, ensure distinct budget lines for child protection;
  • Demand that all parties cease attacks on schools and their military use, and urge the Government to uphold its commitments under the Safe Schools Declaration and to take measures to protect schools that may be used as polling centers during the upcoming elections;
  • Call on all parties to allow safe, unhindered access to humanitarian services, including health care and vaccinations for children.

Germany and Indonesia are the lead countries on Afghanistan. Indonesia chairs the 1267 ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – September 2019.


UN Action

Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: Afghan National Police (including the Afghan Local Police) – recruitment and use of children and sexual violence against children (January 2011)
Sanctions Committee: Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Afghanistan: 2015; 20112008
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Afghanistan: 2016; 20112009
UN Mission: UNAMA

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 2017
Afghan National Police (including Afghan Local Police)~* a a a a a a a a
Factions associated with the former Northern Alliance a
Factions in the south of Afghanistan a
Factional fighting groups a
Haqqani network* a a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b
Hezb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar* a,b,c a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b
Hezb-i-Islami a
Jama’at al-Da’wah ila al-Qur’an wal-Sunnah* a a a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
Taliban forces/remnants of the Taliban* a a, b, d a,b,d,f a a,b a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
Tora Bora Front* a a a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
Latif Mansur Network* a a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
ISIL – Khorasan Province a,b

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.