At its launch in March 2014, the campaign focused on the 8 national security forces listed for recruitment and use of children in the Annexes of the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.
The countries originally concerned by the campaign were:
• The UN Security Council and General Assembly welcomed the campaign and requested regular updates through the Special Representative’s reporting;
• The government of Afghanistan criminalized the recruitment of children, endorsed a road map to accelerate the implementation of its Action Plan as well as age assessment guidelines to prevent the recruitment of children;
• The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) named a Presidential Advisor to address sexual violence and child recruitment. In September 2015, the Government adopted a roadmap to accelerate the implementation of its Action Plan;
• 800 children (and youth recruited as children) were released from Myanmar’s army since the signature of the Action Plan. In September 2015, the country signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict;
Somalia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in September 2015. • The Government established a child protection unit in the Somali armed forces and put in place mechanisms for the handover to the United Nations of children found in the ranks of its army;
• In 2014, South Sudan recommitted to the action plan signed in 2012. Implementation has been stalled due to conflict. Provisions for the separation and release of children by parties to conflict are included in the August 2015 peace agreement;
During the campaign, the Special Representative and UNICEF worked with their UN and NGO partners to support and strengthen their engagement with the concerned Governments to ensure that they reach their goal of ending and preventing recruitment and use of children in their security forces.