Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/HRC/4/45
9 February 2007

Original: ENGLISH

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Fourth session
Item 2 of the provisional agenda



IMPLEMENTATION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 60/251
OF 15 MARCH 2006 ENTITLED “HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL”

Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General
for children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy *

Summary


The present report, submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 51/77 and Human Rights Council decision 2/102, highlights the significant advances made in the efforts of the international community to ensure tangible protection for children affected by armed conflict and outlines strategies that will be undertaken to ensure the institution of an “era of application” of international child protection standards and norms since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) on 26 July 2005. The report also recognizes that the creation of the Human Rights Council places human rights on an equal footing with security and economic development, and that the Council will hence serve as an important component of and a critical partner in efforts to ensure the application and enforcement on the ground of international norms and standards to protect children’s rights and to end impunity for violating parties.

The report recognizes that, despite the progress that has been made, the Office of the Special Representative continues to receive reports of grave violations being committed against children by parties in several situations of armed conflict and, therefore, that much remains to be done to ensure the protection of the rights of children affected by armed conflict. To this end, the Special Representative has put forward a two-year strategic framework to strengthen and consolidate the gains made in the past and to meet the new challenges in the period ahead.

The report concludes that the United Nations human rights system must continue to play a crucial role and actively support the protection of the rights of war-affected children on the ground. The Special Representative recommends that the Human Rights Council support the monitoring and reporting mechanism for children and armed conflict in all situations of concern, and that it recognize and make an integral part of the agenda of its future sessions the five categories of grave violations against children other than child soldiering.

_____________







/...

3. In the course of the past year, despite the progress that has been made, children have been subjected to new, tragic experiences of terror, deprivation and utter vulnerability in the Middle East, Lebanon, Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Darfur and eastern Chad. ...

/...


2. Killing and maiming

8. In many conflict situations, children have been deliberately killed or maimed by parties to conflict, often in extremely brutal ways. Children also tend to get caught in the crossfire, including indiscriminate shelling and bombardments, resulting in a large number of deaths and injuries. The Office of the Special Representative continues to be concerned about reports received of the killing and maiming of children by parties to conflict in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, Nepal and Uganda.

/...


5. Attacks on schools and hospitals

11. Places that should be safe havens for children such as schools and hospitals have been deliberately attacked in many situations of conflict such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Nepal, Somalia and Sri Lanka. The Office of the Special Representative has received reports that schools and hospitals have been destroyed or damaged by military operations, or these premises occupied by armed groups, in addition to disconcerting cases of principals, teachers and students being killed by parties to conflict. The Office of the Special Representative urges these parties to respect civilians and civilian objects and ensure that schools and hospitals are accorded special protection in times of conflict.

6. Denial of humanitarian assistance to children


12. The denial of humanitarian access in conflict situations has a particularly devastating effect on children. Parties in some situations of conflict have failed to respect humanitarian or security zones, or to open safe corridors to permit humanitarian workers to reach children in war zones in order to provide essential aid and protection. During the past year, there have also been a significant number of reports of assaults and killing of humanitarian workers. The Office of the Special Representative is concerned that children were denied access to humanitarian aid in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Somalia and the Sudan.

/...


VI. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS


36. This past year has been a terrible year for children caught in situations of conflict, one which also witnessed parties defying even the basic principles of international humanitarian law, resulting in massive civilian casualties, especially children. It is therefore important, if not critical, that the United Nations human rights system continue to play a crucial role and actively uphold the need to protect the rights of war-affected children on the ground. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General therefore makes the following recommendations.

37. The Special Representative encourages States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to take measures to implement the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; to strengthen national and international measures to prevent the recruitment of children to the armed forces or armed groups and their use in hostilities, in particular by signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict; and to enact legislation that explicitly prohibits the recruitment of children under the age of 15 years into armed forces/groups and their direct participation in hostilities.

38. The Special Representative recommends that the Human Rights Council support the monitoring and reporting mechanism for children and armed conflict in all situations of concern and recognize and make an integral part of its agenda combating the six grave violations against children in armed conflict, i.e. recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, abductions, rape and other grave sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access to children, and that the issues concerned be mainstreamed throughout the work of the Council and in the submissions of its thematic and country mechanisms.

39. The Special Representative recommends that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights deepen its engagement in the protection of the rights of war-affected children, including through the provision of adequate child rights expertise in peace operations, in a framework of coordination and cooperation with other child protection actors in such settings.


-----


Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter