The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (A/70/836–S/2016/360) issued on 20 April 2016.
Children were affected by intensified clashes in the Bekaa governorate and the Ein el-Hillweh Palestine refugee camp, bombings in Tripoli and Beirut and violence along the border with the Syrian Arab Republic and the Blue Line with Israel.
The United Nations continued to document cases of recruitment and use of children by local and foreign armed groups, including of boys between 15 and 17 years of age who were sent to the Syrian Arab Republic. The majority of incidents were related to the Nusrah Front; however, children were reportedly also recruited by other armed groups, including Hizbullah, supporting the Syrian government forces. Furthermore, the United Nations documented the recruitment and use of boys and girls between 15 and 17 years of age by Palestinian armed factions and other armed groups within Lebanon. Reportedly, boys were used to man checkpoints or as guards, while girls were used in support roles.
As noted in my previous report (A/69-926-S/2015/409), I am concerned that children are held in pretrial detention under military jurisdiction on charges relating to national security. Fifteen boys (between 14 and 17 years of age at the time of their arrest) were still detained as at the end of 2015.
The United Nations verified 14 cases of child casualties relating to explosive remnants of war in southern Lebanon (2 killed, 9 injured), stray bullets during Hizbullah mourning ceremonies (1 killed, 1 injured) and crossfire (1 injured).
During violence between armed factions in the Ein el-Hillweh refugee camp in August, six United Nations schools and two medical facilities were damaged by crossfire and four United Nations schools were used by armed elements.
I commend the Government on its intensified efforts to implement the workplan to prevent and respond to the association of children with armed violence in Lebanon, signed in August 2014. I once again urge Lebanon to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which it signed in 2002.