The 11th Annual Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict, issued on Monday 11 June, 2012, provides an overview of the situation of children affected by armed conflict and the measures taken to protect them. It covers the period between January and December 2011, and contains specific recommendations for follow-up UN action. The body of the report contains information on grave violations committed against children, in particular the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, the abduction of children, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access to children by parties to conflict.
The 11th Annual Report covers 23 country situations. Two new countries are appearing in the Annual Report for the first time (Syria and Lybia) and two others have been removed entirely (Haiti and Burundi).
List of Shame
Every year, in two annexes at the end of his report, the Secretary-General lists those parties to conflict who have committed grave violations against children. These violations include: recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and sexual violence, and since last year’s Security Council Resolution 1998, recurrent attacks on schools and hospitals or threats against protected persons in relation to schools and hospitals (teachers, students, medical staff). These annexes have become known as the “List of Shame.”
Annex I of the Annual Report is for countries already in the Security Council’s agenda, while Annex II is for countries that are not on the Security Council agenda.
This year, the list of shame has grown to 52 perpetrators. While two parties to conflict in Nepal and Sri Lanka have been delisted, new parties have now joined the list from Syria, Sudan and Yemen.
More troubling, is that 32 parties to conflict listed in this report have been previously listed in the Secretary-General’s report for at least 5 years. These parties are known as “Persistent Perpetrators.” Watchlist has repeatedly advocated for stronger actions and targeted measures to be taken by the Security Council to address the difficulties with these persistent perpetrators.
The Annual Report will trigger a number of activities on the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict agenda and is expected to be discussed by the UN Security Council during its Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict. The Open Debate will likely take place in September, under the German Presidency of the Security Council. At that time, Watchlist hopes for renewed discussions on the issue of accountability of persistent perpetrators as well as recommendations for specific actions to be taken to make sustainable progress on protecting children in armed conflict.
To read more on the 11th Annual Report of the Secretary-General’s on Children and Armed Conflict and the “List of Shame”:
UN: ‘List of Shame’ Cites School Attacks, (Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, Press Release)
Syria: Stop Grave Abuses of Children, (Human Rights Watch Press Release)
52 Parties on Secretary-General’s List of Shame on Children and Armed Conflict, (Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, Press Release)