Naming and Shaming
Pictures of small children carrying automatic weapons under the influence of drugs had flooded the media since the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone had begun. This was deemed to be an unacceptable state of affairs. The Security Council therefore decided on a listing process – a naming and shaming exercise that indicates to the world who the perpetrators are and where they are active. Since 2002, the Secretary-General has listed parties who are recruiting or using children in the annexes of his annual report on children and armed conflict.
New criteria for the list of shame
On two occasions, the Security Council asked the Secretary-General to expand the scope of his annexes and to also list parties responsible for:
- patterns of killing and maiming children – resolution 1882 (2009),
- patterns of committing sexual violence against children – resolution 1882 (2009),
- recurrent attacks or threats of attacks on schools and hospitals, as well as on protected persons in relation to schools and hospitals – resolution 1998 (2011).
In the last report, 57 parties in 15 country situations have been listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report including seven government forces. 17 perpetrators have been on the list for at least five years and count among the most persistent violators.
Parties can be de-listed if they enter into time bound action plans with the United Nations. These plans outline a list of concrete activities to halt the violations they are listed for.
A party to conflict shall be eligible for de-listing upon United Nations verification that all activities included in an action plan have been successfully implemented and those responsible are held accountable.
The list of shame is an important advocacy tool and has resulted in compliance with international law and the release of thousands of children.