The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) most recent annual report (S/2020/525) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for recruitment and use of children, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is listed for all five ‘trigger’ violations. In August, the SG is expected to report on UNAMI, pursuant to SCR 2522 (2020). UNITAD’s current mandate expires in September, pursuant to SCR 2490 (2019). The SG’s May report on UNAMI (S/2020/363) documents two children killed and seven injured between February 1 and April 19. The Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) continues to advocate with the Government of Iraq for the finalization of a draft action plan to end recruitment and use of children and ensure their reintegration. Detention of children allegedly associated with ISIL remains a concern. The SG’s annual CAAC report cites 984 children detained on national security-related charges as of December 2019. The Security Council should:

  • Renew UNITAD’s mandate and call for perpetrators to be held accountable for grave violations, in particular those which may constitute genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes; urge all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL);
  • Urge the Government to adopt and fully implement an action plan to end and prevent child recruitment and use by the PMF, as well as a comprehensive child rights law criminalizing the recruitment and use of children, and to strengthen rehabilitation and reintegration;
  • Call on the Government to intensify its efforts to remove administrative barriers hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid to children and other civilians in need, and to issue identification documents to allow all children to access public assistance and basic services;
  • Remind all parties that children – including those actually or allegedly associated with ISIL or other armed groups – should be treated primarily as victims, and urge the Government to develop and prioritize alternatives to detention whenever possible, ensuring the best interests of the child, in accordance with juvenile justice standards;
  • Call on Member States to facilitate the return of their child nationals held in Iraq for actual or alleged association with ISIL, and to provide reintegration support in line with international standards and ensuring the best interests of the child.

The United States is the lead country on Iraq.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – August 2020.

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.