UN-United Nations reminds the international community of the scourge of child conscription in armed conflict

Archive – Child soldier in the Central African Republic – PIERRE HOLTZ / UNICEF – Archive

More than 6,300 children were conscripted in 2021, with more than 23,000 child rights violations in conflict zones

MADRID, 12 February (EUROPA PRESS) –

The United Nations and the European Union asked members of the international community this Sunday to keep in mind the still-open crisis represented by the recruitment of children for armed conflict, despite the progress made in this regard in warring countries such as Yemen. international day against the use of minors in combat.

The UN recalls that, according to its most recent figures, more than 6,310 children (5,707 boys and 603 girls) were conscripted in 2021, “a number that will have increased since then after the outbreak of new crises”.

But the Global Coalition to End Violence Against Children wants to remember the “good news”, such as the recent adoption of a plan to “end child military service and violence against children” in Yemen.

The group, of which more than 700 governments and NGOs from around the world are part, also recalls that countries like Burkina Faso or Nigeria announced the end of the practice of military detention of minors involved in armed conflict at the end of last year.

The recruitment of children is an expression of violence against children that puts them at serious risk. In 2021 alone, the United Nations confirmed that there were close to 23,000 serious violations against children in conflict contexts. The highest number of rapes was 2,515 murders and 5,555 mutilations.

Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, and Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued a commemorative statement, saying that “protection of minors in the face of conflict must be at the highest level”. At the forefront of any effort.”

Therefore, both officials once again called for “universal ratification and application without exception of the Convention on the Rights of the Child” and the Optional Protocol on the participation of children in armed conflict (OPAC for its acronym in Spanish). . English).

“Any agenda related to children and armed conflict should be fully integrated into all peace and security-related activities and throughout the conflict cycle, including conflict analysis, early warning, peace processes and mediation, and support to the security sector.”

“All children should have a childhood free of violence. Children should be treated like children. Only then can there be a peaceful tomorrow.”

Source: Noti Merica

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