Watchlist is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of its new report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Mali. The report will be launched on 19 June 2013 in New York City. The report is the first major publication of its kind since the start of conflict in January 2012 to focus exclusively on children. It details grave violations being committed against children and how to better protect them. The research was conducted over two three-week periods: first in November-December 2012, and then in February-March 2013. The report’s findings are based on interviews conducted with over 150 people representing members of government, military, the UN, international organizations, local and international NGOs, community groups, as well as community members from conflict-affected areas.

The report is being published two days after the annual Security Council Debate on Children and Armed Conflict. The Secretary-General’s 12th report on children and armed conflict, presented to the Council during this debate, is expected to list non-state armed groups from Mali for committing grave violations against children. The listing of groups in Mali would prompt the need for establishing a UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism in Mali. The report also comes out days before the Security Council discusses whether security conditions have been met in order to deploy a peacekeeping force, MINUSMA, to Mali in early July. Both establishing the MRM, and the protection of children by military actors are addressed through findings and recommendations in the report, along with other areas linked to better protecting Malian children affected by the conflict.

Look for the report on Watchlist’s new Mali page, which goes live at 10:30EST on 19 June: