The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2020 annual report 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 November, the SG is expected to report on UNAMI, pursuant to SCR 2522 (2020). The SG’s August report (S/2020/792) documents five children injured between May 1 and July 9, and notes ongoing concerns regarding children detained on national security-related charges and child casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war. On September 28, four children under the age of 10 were killed and another was injured when a rocket fell on their house in Baghdad. In October, the Protection Cluster in Iraq released an analysis on the impacts of COVID-19, noting that survey respondents reported that protection issues involving children had significantly increased since the pandemic. Administrative access challenges continue to impact the ability of humanitarian actors to deliver assistance and services to children. In July, the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWG-CAAC) adopted its third conclusions on children and armed conflict in Iraq. The Security Council should:

  • 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 their or their family members’ actual or alleged association with ISIL, and to provide reintegration support in line with international standards and ensuring the best interests of the child;
  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the SCWG-CAAC elaborated in its third conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Iraq.

The United States is the lead country on Iraq.

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

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: 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.