Da’esh is listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) latest annual report (S/2022/493) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for all five “trigger” violations against children, and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are listed for child recruitment and use. In May, UNAMI’s mandate is up for renewal, per SCR 2631 (2022). In March, the Government of Iraq signed an action plan with the UN to end and prevent recruitment and use of children by the PMF. According to the SG’s January report on UNAMI (S/2023/58), between September and December 2022, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified 42 grave violations, including incidents of killing and maiming, primarily by explosive remnants of war (ERW), the recruitment and use of one girl and two boys by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), one sexual violence-related violation by Da’esh, and one attack on a school by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Security Council should:

  • Welcome the action plan to prevent recruitment and use of children by the PMF, and urge swift and full implementation of this plan, including measures to strengthen age verification and to adopt legislation and administrative measures to prevent the recruitment and use of children, as well as the prompt investigation of any allegation of recruitment and use of children;
  • Recall that all children allegedly associated with armed forces and armed groups should be treated primarily as victims, including those allegedly associated with armed groups designated as terrorist by the UN and those who may have committed crimes, their reintegration should be prioritized, and detention should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate time; encourage the Government to continue its efforts to repatriate children held in Northeast Syria, following a rights-based approach, in accordance with their duty under international law;
  • Call on the Government to endorse the Paris Principles and Commitments and encourage the development and signing of a handover protocol to facilitate the release of children to child protection actors for reintegration and other support services; urge donors to provide long-term, predictable funding for reintegration;
  • Urge the Government to intensify efforts to remove administrative barriers hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians, including children, and to issue identification documents to allow all children to access public assistance and basic services, including education;
  • Call on the Government to implement international legal instruments on IEDs, landmines, and other ERW, and to promote mine clearance and explosive ordnance risk education; urge all parties to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas (EWIPA).

The United States is the lead country on Iraq.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – May 2023.

UN Action

Year listed: 2009
Action Plans signed: No
Sanctions Committee: 1518 Sanctions Committee; ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Indonesia) 
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Iraq: 2022; 20192015; 2011 
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Iraq: 2020; 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 2017
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,b,c,d,e
Popular mobilization forces a

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.