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.
In 2015, attacks by armed groups in Pakistan declined by 48 per cent compared with 2014. The majority of attacks were attributed to TTP, predominantly in Baluchistan. The Government’s military operations in North Waziristan against armed groups continued throughout 2015.
Reports were received of the use of religious schools for recruitment and military training of children by TTP and other armed groups (see S/2015/336).
Child casualties were reported as a result of indiscriminate attacks and armed violence. For example, on 4 January, four children were killed and 10 injured when an improvised explosive device detonated at a volleyball match in Orakzai Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In October, a suicide attack on a religious procession in Jacobabad, Sindh Province, killed 18 children and injured more than 40 others. Further indiscriminate attacks occurred early in 2016, when a large bomb blast claimed by a TTP faction killed more than 20 children in Lahore on 27 March.
Fourteen attacks on educational institutions across Pakistan were recorded, a decline of 65 per cent compared with 2014. They included the destruction of schools, including girls’ schools, and occurred mostly in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (eight), Sindh (four) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (two).
Notwithstanding the continued targeting of health personnel, humanitarian access to children increased, in particular for polio workers in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Attacks on polio workers continued, however, with 11 people killed in six attacks. For example, four members of a polio team were killed following their abduction in Northern Baluchistan. In addition, 76 security incidents, including 42 cases of threats and intimidation against polio workers, were reported throughout Pakistan.
I am concerned by reports of children being sentenced to death by military courts on terrorism-related charges. I urge the Government to adhere to its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits capital punishment for offences committed by persons under 18 years of age.