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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs