UN Special Rapporteur for Children and Armed Conflicts calls states for taking measures to protect children
Okeil: funding of armed groups should be stopped, and confronting the implicated states
Ayman Okeil, General Director of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, stressed that what children have faced during armed conflicts in the Arab region, is shameful and regrettable. The states involved in the conflicts in the region, whether by active participation or funding, don’t abide by the international law rules and the international humanitarian law regarding the protection of children from the dangers of armed conflict. And the same for armed groups too.
The Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict urged all States involved in armed conflicts to pursue further protective measures for children during the coalition operations in Yemen. As well as ensuring that the basic principles of international humanitarian law are applied.
During the reporting period, many violations have been committed against children in countries where armed conflicts have occurred, such as abduction. From December 2017 to December 2018, Child abduction rates were doubled as high as in previous years. More than 1,600 children in Somalia have been abducted by al Shabaab movement. Those children have been sent to religious schools and training camps to be used as soldiers.
The foundation confirmed its rejection of Israeli practices against the Palestinian people in general and against children in particular. The statistics show that, until October 31, Israel had detained 220 Palestinian children suspected of criminal offenses under military law (usually because of throwing stones).
Also, Houthi forces which supported from Iran and allied forces, as well as other armed groups used children as soldiers. The United Nations documented the recruitment and use of boys as young as 11 years of age.
Moreover, Syrian children have not protected from and become subjected to violence and all kinds of exploitation during military operations.
Finally, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights agrees with the statement by the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict that all children associated with the parties to the conflict who are in the context of security operations should be treated primarily as victims who must be rehabilitated and integrated.
At the end of the intervention, Okeil called the parties to the conflict to abide by the rules of international law. Specifically, the rules that asserted for the protection of children against violence, abuse, exploitation and the dangers of armed conflict.
As well as the need for all countries to stop and prevent the funding of armed groups that use and recruit children. In addition to taking action against countries found to be involved in funding the activities of terrorist armed groups, particularly those that result in child victims.
This post is also available in: العربية