News

Name and Shame Measures Used to Combat Child Soldiers

A child rights expert says there have been some major breakthroughs in efforts to combat the recruitment of child soldiers.  The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict says U.N. Security Council resolutions, which name and shame countries that violate the rights of children caught in war are proving effective.  

Last August, the UN Security Council passed a resolution requesting the Secretary-General to name and shame States and non-state actors that recruit child soldiers, commit sexual violence against children and maim children contrary to international law.

And progress has been made over the last year getting parties to enter into action plans with the UN, according to Radhika Cooumaraswamy, Special Representative to the Secretary-General.

"Once we list parties under these different grave violations, the way they can get off the list is to enter into action plans with the United Nations, especially with regard to the recruitment of the use of children, to release the children in their midst, to allow the U.N. to verify that release and to plan for their integration into society," Cooumaraswamy said. 

As an example, the United Nations entered into an action plan with the Maoists in Nepal, who subsequently released 3,000 minors. Cooumaraswamy said a rebel group in the Philippines and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army also released thousands of child soldiers after entering into similar plans.

She says Burma, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Somalia are on the name and shame list.  But, Uganda and Ivory Coast, who agreed to the U.N. action plan, now are de-listed.

U.N. estimates of around 250,000 child soldiers is down from 300,000.

But it cites 22 situations of concern in which grave child violations are taking place. They include Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Yemen.  Coomaraswamy says some of the 22 governments recruit child soldiers, but most of the persistent violators are rebel groups, such as the Taliban and FARC.

Cooumaraswamy said as conflicts change, they create dangerous new situations for children.

"We have now children used as suicide bombers.  There were seven cases of suicide bombing in Afghanistan last year.  And, we also count on insurgency strategies, seeing children who are victims of aerial bombardment and drone killings, children in detention," she said. "So these kinds of new issues that are coming up for us and are giving us new challenges that we would have to deal with."  

Coomaraswamy noted that an important breakthrough has been made with regard to the security council's willingness to impose targeted measures against those who recruit and use children in conflict.

She said members are considering imposing sanctions against violators that would include a freeze on the assets of individuals, travel bans and arms embargoes.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs