Recommendations to the Security Council
Libya is a situation of concern in the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2019 annual report on children and armed conflict (CAAC). In January, the SG will report on the implementation of UNSMIL’s mandate, pursuant to SCR 2486 (2019). Briefing the Security Council in November, the Special Representative and head of UNSMIL reported intensified fighting in populated areas, with 200 civilians killed and 128,000 displaced since April 2019. Access to healthcare and education have been severely impacted. On October 14, three girls – ages four, five, and seven – were killed and one three-year-old girl was wounded when an airstrike hit their home in a residential area of Tripoli. Migrant and refugee children continue to face risks, including ill-treatment and inhumane conditions in detention, sexual violence, and airstrikes hitting detention centers. UNHCR reported in December that 4,200 people remain in detention centers. Libya does not have a formal UN Security Council Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM), and insecurity limits access to verify grave violations against children. The Security Council should:
- Condemn all indiscriminate attacks and attacks on civilian infrastructure, including healthcare facilities and schools, and demand that all parties uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law, and end the use of explosive weapons with wide area effect in populated areas;
- Request the SG to include information on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in his briefings and reports to the Council;
- Urge all parties to allow safe and unimpeded access for monitoring of rights violations and delivery of humanitarian assistance to children and other civilians in need;
- Call on the Government to end arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees, in particular children; to release those who are unlawfully deprived of their liberty; and to put in place measures to prevent torture or other ill-treatment in detention.
THE UNITED KINGDOM IS THE LEAD COUNTRY ON LIBYA, AND GERMANY CHAIRS THE SANCTIONS COMMITTEE.
Four non-State armed groups are listed for recruitment and use of children in the annexes of the SG’s 2019 annual report; three of these have signed action plans to prevent and end grave violations. In January, the SG and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission are expected to issue a special report on UNAMID, pursuant to SCR 2495 (2019), including options for a follow-on presence. The last such special report was issued in October (S/2019/816) prior to the mandate renewal and reported 87 verified grave violations against children from June to September. Most of these violations occurred in the context of infighting between SLA-AW factions in the Jebel Marra. Internally displaced children remain vulnerable to violations, particularly sexual violence. The Security Council should:
- Condemn all grave violations committed against children, particularly continued incidents of killing and maiming, sexual violence, and abductions in Jebel Marra;
- Urge the Government to end impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence against children, including through impartial investigations and prosecutions, and support appropriate recovery and protection for survivors;
- Call on all listed parties to engage or renew engagement with the UN to develop and implement action plans to end and prevent grave violations and encourage parties involved in the Juba peace process to include provisions on child protection in any agreement;
- Ensure proposals for UNAMID drawdown and any Security Council-mandated follow-on presence in Darfur maintain a focus on protection of civilians, especially children, and ensure adequate resources are allocated, including to the UN Country Team and UNICEF, to continue child protection efforts and the MRM, pursuant to SCR 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on CAAC;
- Encourage the Government to continue efforts to improve humanitarian access, including removal of administrative barriers that impede aid delivery and monitoring; demand that non-State armed groups allow safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to children and other civilians in need.
THE UNITED KINGDOM AND GERMANY ARE THE LEAD COUNTRIES ON SUDAN (DARFUR).
Six parties to conflict are listed in the annexes of the SG’s 2019 annual report for grave violations against children. UNMHA’s mandate expires in January, pursuant to SRC 2481 (2019). In November, a power-sharing agreement was signed between the internationally recognized Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC); however, few deadlines have been met. December 13, 2019 marked one year since the Stockholm Agreement was signed, yet humanitarian actors note that the highest number of civilian casualties occurred in Hodeidah governorate, and nearly half of children killed as a direct result of the conflict from January to October 2019 died in Hodeidah and Taiz. Almost 2.2 million children live in 75 districts that are hard to reach by humanitarian actors; 80 percent of these face dire food shortages. The Security Council should:
- Express concern at the continued high number of child casualties in Hodeidah and Taiz, urge parties to swiftly and fully implement the Stockholm Agreement, commit to a full cessation of hostilities, and work towards a comprehensive and inclusive peace process that includes meaningful child participation and protection measures, pursuant to SCR 2427 (2018);
- Call upon the Government of Yemen to implement fully and without delay the December 2018 roadmap aimed at revitalizing its action plan to end and prevent child recruitment and use, immediately release all children within its ranks, and prioritize the establishment of age assessment mechanisms;
- Urge all other listed parties to sign and implement timebound action plans to end and prevent grave violations, as the only path towards delisting from the annexes of the SG’s annual report on CAAC;
- Demand that all parties facilitate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to children and other civilians in need;
- Call on the SG to list all parties that deserve so in Section A of the annexes of his annual report for all relevant violations, including the Saudi and Emirati-led Coalition for killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals.
THE UNITED KINGDOM IS THE LEAD COUNTRY ON YEMEN.
Recommendations to the Working Group
Central African Republic (CAR)
Three parties to conflict are listed in the SG’s 2019 annual report for recruitment and use, killing and maiming, and rape and other forms of sexual violence. The LRA is also listed for abduction and the former Séléka coalition and associated groups are also listed for attacks on schools and hospitals. In October, the Working Group received the SG’s fourth report on children and armed conflict in CAR. The Country Task Force verified grave violations against 1,364 children, 138 attacks on schools and hospitals, and 342 incidents of denial of humanitarian access to children from January 2016 to June 2019. The Working Group should:
- Welcome the prohibition of all six grave violations in the Accord politique pour la paix et la reconciliation en République centrafricaine signed in February 2018 and the ratification of Optional Protocol II of the CRC (OPAC) in September 2017;
- Welcome the signing of action plans to end and prevent grave violations by the MPC, the FPRC, and the UPC; and encourage full and swift implementation;
- Call on parties to immediately end recruitment and use and take steps to release all children within their ranks; urge the Government to continue efforts to provide reintegration programming for all children formerly associated with armed groups, and swiftly adopt the draft child protection law criminalizing child recruitment and use;
- Call on the Government to pursue accountability for perpetrators of all grave violations against children including through impartial investigations and prosecution, and support appropriate recovery and protection for survivors of sexual violence;
- Condemn all attacks on hospitals and medical personnel, and demand all parties immediately cease such attacks, and allow safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children in need.
Presidency of the Security Council for January:
Viet Nam: Party to Geneva Conventions I-IV, Additional Protocol I, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and ILO Convention 182; not a party to Additional Protocols II or III of the Geneva Conventions, nor the Rome Statute of the ICC; has endorsed the Vancouver Principles and the Safe Schools Declaration; has not endorsed the Paris Principles nor Paris Commitments.
- Refugees International, Three Million Civilians Are Under Threat in Idlib. Here’s What They’re Telling Us, Dec. 27, 2019
- Save the Children, 105,000 Children in Mali Displaced by Violence, Dec. 17, 2019
- Norwegian Refugee Council, Desperate Measures – Syrians Fleeing Turkey’s Military Operation, Dec. 17, 2019
- All Survivors Project, Checklist on Addressing and Preventing ConflictRelated Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys, Dec. 10, 2019
- World Vision, Fear and Isolation: The Impact of Ebola and War on Child Protection in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 9, 2019
- Invisible Children, LRA Abducts 43 Children So Far in 2019, Dozens Remain Missing and Presumed in Captivity, Dec. 2, 2019