The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are listed for recruitment and use of children. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is listed for recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abductions, and attacks on schools and hospitals. In June 2018 UNAMI’s mandate was renewed until May 31, 2019. In February, the SG’s Special Representative and head of UNAMI, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, will report on UNAMI’s progress pursuant to SCR 2421 (2018), briefing the Council for the first time since officially assuming her position on December 17, 2018. In the SG’s latest report (S/2018/975, para. 55) which covers the period between August and October, the SG reports that the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR), chaired by UNAMI and UNICEF, verified 16 grave violations against children that resulted in the killing of 3 boys and 4 girls and the maiming of 14 boys and 4 girls, mainly related to explosive hazards and weapons. The CTFMR initiated discussions with the Government of Iraq for the development of an action plan to prevent and end recruitment and use of children by the PMF. ISIL continues to kill and wound civilians. On August 10 at a football game in Salah al-Din Governorate, ISIL gunmen shot and killed five civilians, wounding six others including two children (para. 44). The SG reports that on August 29, the Department of Yazidi Affairs in the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government reported that 1,845 Yazidi children and 1,250 women were still in ISIL captivity or missing. The detention and torture and ill-treatment of children accused of association with ISIL remains a major concern. Recent research by Human Rights Watch found evidence that Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq have continued to torture child detainees, despite promises to investigate allegations.

The Security Council should:

  • Urge the Government to take concrete actions to ensure accountability and end impunity for all grave violations including sexual violence against children; and to that end, fully establish an investigative team to enhance the work of Iraqi judges, investigators, and prosecutors;
  • Ensure the implementation of UNAMI’s child protection mandate, and request the SG to strengthen the child protection capacity of UNAMI to be able to efficiently and effectively contribute to the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in Iraq, as well as to engage in negotiations with armed parties listed for committing grave violations against children;
  • Urge the Government to enter into an action plan with the United Nations to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by the PMF and enhance measures to protect all children affected by the conflict in Iraq;
  • Remind all parties that children should be considered primarily as victims, entitled to full protection of their rights, and that alternatives to detention should be prioritized whenever possible;
  • Urge Kurdish authorities to immediately end all use of torture and coerced confessions, and investigate and appropriately prosecute those responsible.


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

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 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.