News / Africa

UN Reports on Child Rights Violations

FILE - Child soldier, center, known as "Kadogo," meaning "small one" in Swahili, stands at the front line at Kanyabayonga in eastern Congo.
FILE - Child soldier, center, known as "Kadogo," meaning "small one" in Swahili, stands at the front line at Kanyabayonga in eastern Congo.
Margaret Besheer

A U.N. report released Tuesday documents cases of children recruited and used as soldiers by eight national armies and 51 armed groups in the past year.

Some of the most serious situations are reported in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and South Sudan.

According to Leila Zerrougui, U.N. envoy on children and armed conflict, grave rights violations of children, including death, maiming, sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals, are highlighted.

In Syria, where a civil war is raging into its fourth year, the U.N. estimates more than 10,000 children have been killed.

"The conflict and violence in Syria reached unprecedented levels during 2013 — no sign of improvement since the beginning of the year and no political solution in sight," Zerrougui said.

In her report, Zerrougi says armed groups, including several associated with the opposition Free Syrian Army, as well as Islamist groups ISIL and Jhabat al-Nusra, are recruiting and using children for logistics, handling ammunition, manning checkpoints and as combatants. Armed groups also continue to kill and injure children, rape girls and target schools.

In neighboring Iraq, where ISIL fighters recently have made bold military gains, children are facing extremely violent and dangerous conditions. The report says nearly 8,000 civilians were killed last year, and at least 250 of them were children.

Terror groups in Africa also are responsible for attacks on children. Most notably in Nigeria, where Boko Haram, which has kidnapped scores of school girls in the country's north, has repeatedly targeted schools. According to the U.N. report, the group also has children as young as 12 in its ranks.

In South Sudan, Zerrougi said gains in reintegrating child soldiers back into society have been reversed by the political conflict that erupted in mid-December.

"I saw [for] myself children with guns; with the government, but also with armed groups — with David Yau Yau, with the SSLA and with the opposition under Riek Machar," she said.

On a positive note, Chad, which has previously been named for its use of child soldiers, was de-listed by the U.N. this year. The government signed onto an action plan with the U.N. in 2011 to end the practice. 

Chad is an important troop contributor to U.N. peacekeeping operations, and its record as a recruiter of child soldiers threatened to jeopardize its participation in U.N. missions.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid