Déclaration de Représentante spéciale devant la 24ème session du CDH sur le sort des enfants dans les conflits armés - Communiqué de presse Français
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The Human Rights Council this morning held an interactive dialogue with Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, and concluded its general debate on the update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of her office.
Ms. Zerrougui, presenting her report, said that as she was providing this update, schools were about to reopen but millions of children around the world would miss this opportunity because of conflict. ...
During the interactive dialogue with the Special Representative, delegations expressed their grave concern with regard to the disproportionate negative effect of armed conflicts on children, who were innocent victims of attacks. The recruitment of child soldiers and the increasing number of child victims of armed conflicts around the world were appalling. Attacks on schools and hospitals remained of grave concern in many conflict situations, and could amount to war crimes. The children’s plight was often exacerbated by limitations or restrictions on humanitarian access. The situation of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation, as well as the current status of the Syrian children, were expressive examples of the scourges that children witnessed at the time of armed conflict. International law provided special protection for children, but the gap between legislation and implementation remained very wide. Holistic reintegration and rehabilitation programmes were needed to ensure that former child soldiers were provided with the appropriate assistance and reintegrated into civilian life.
Speaking in the interactive dialogue on children in armed conflict were the European Union, Gabon on behalf of the African Group, Ireland, China, Palestine on behalf of the Arab Group, Algeria, Thailand, France, Qatar, Pakistan, Cuba on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Morocco, United States, Paraguay, Australia, Egypt, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, Georgia, Poland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Syria, Italy, Cuba, Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, Cuba, Kuwait, Belgium, Slovakia, Switzerland, South Sudan, Chad, Republic of Korea, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Palestine, Nigeria, Maldives, Germany, United Nations Children’s Fund, Holy See, Latvia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Portugal and Venezuela.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Council concluded its general debate on the update provided on 9 September by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the activities of her office.
The Council has before it a note by the Secretariat on the report of the annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (A/HRC/24/35).
The Council has before it an oral update of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (A/HRC/24/CRP.1).
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said that children were a vulnerable category in terms of human rights protection, especially in the context of armed conflicts. The international community had the responsibility to protect children, who should not be targeted during conflicts. In recent years, the number of child victims had increased, as well as the number of children being recruited. Children in the occupied Palestinian territory lived in a dire situation, notably with regard to access to housing, education and healthcare.
Qatar attached particular importance to the protection of children. It had ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1995, and wished to accede to the Optional Protocol. The international community had to play a significant role in the protection of children. Qatar condemned violations against children, particularly in Palestine. They should not forget the suffering of children in Syria, whose rights were flouted. Attacks had been carried out against children, hospitals and schools.
Egypt said that the situation of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation, as well as the current status of the Syrian children, was expressive examples of the scourges that children witnessed at the time of armed conflict. Children were particularly vulnerable to the repercussions of armed conflicts that not only compromised their safety and physical and mental integrity but also seriously threatened the prospect of their future. Egypt welcomed the steps taken on the national, regional, and international levels in order to scale up the response towards the violations of the rights of the child in armed conflicts.
Palestine said children continued to be unjustly affected by armed conflict and had their basic rights violated. Systematic and consistent violations happened most recently in areas under occupation. As of July this year there were 195 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons. In detention and during interrogation, children had reported being beaten, kicked and forced into signing confessions, among other violations. These children were deprived of education, healthcare and access to justice. What particular measures needed to be taken to ensure the protection of Palestinian children living under occupation, in accordance with international standards?
For use of the information media; not an official record