On Thursday, June 18, the UN Security Council (UNSC) will hold an Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, which will take place under the presidency of Malaysia. The June Open Debate will follow the publication of the Secretary-General’s (SG) annual report on children and armed conflict (forthcoming). In addition to the discussion of the report, this debate will highlight the abduction of children in situations of armed conflict, and Malaysia will seek a resolution as an outcome.

Bearing in mind the theme of this debate, Watchlist recommends the UNSC Member States to call for the following:

  1. Request the Secretary-General to include in the annexes to his CAAC reports those parties to conflict that engage in abductions of children;
  2. Urge all parties to ensure that children associated with armed groups or forces are treated as victims first. Their treatment should focus on maximizing their potential for effective rehabilitation and reintegration into society;
  3. Prevent attacks on education and end the military use of schools by calling on Member States to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration made public at the Oslo Conference on 28-29 May, and call on all parties to armed conflict to adopt concrete measures to deter military use of schools during armed conflict, including through the implementation of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict;
  4. Hold security sector actors to account for effectively protecting children’s rights when deployed in the field, in part by requesting the Secretary-General to develop a policy prohibiting government armed forces listed in the annexes to his annual reports on CAAC to contribute troops to peacekeeping operations until they have adopted, and fully implemented, action plans to end violations against children.

Read Watchlist’s Special Update for the June 2015 Open Debate.