Lebanon

The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/69/926–S/2015/409) issued on 5 June 2015.

Lebanon was heavily affected by insecurity and the existing trends of improvised explosive device attacks, urban clashes and cross-border shelling from the Syrian Arab Republic continued. Direct attacks by armed groups on the Lebanese Armed Forces resulted in violent clashes, particularly in the Arsal, Bekaa governorate and in the Tripoli, North governorate. The United Nations collected credible information on children as young as 14 years of age who had joined armed factions in Palestinian camps and armed parties operating in the Syrian Arab Republic, particularly in border areas. The United Nations also received verified reports of at least 25 boys arrested by the Lebanese armed forces during anti-terrorism raids, mostly conducted in Arsal and Tripoli between August and December, and kept in pretrial detention together with adults under military jurisdiction for national security offences. In mid-January 2015, the children were transferred to the area of the prison hosting children.

According to consistent reports from different sources, at least 17 boys and three girls were killed and four boys injured, mostly by gunshots or stray bullets, during armed clashes in urban areas. Six of them, three Lebanese and three Syrian, were reportedly killed during shelling by the Syrian Air Force on Arsal on 17 January. A 15-year-old Syrian refugee boy was summarily executed by al-Nusra elements in Arsal in June.

School facilities and learning activities were affected by armed violence, particularly in Tripoli surrounding areas, where 97 schools were used as shelters, depriving at least 20,000 students of education. Sporadic incidents of armed violence also affected the provision of humanitarian assistance.

As a result of an increase in the identification of children associated with armed groups, relevant authorities, civil society and the United Nations carried out advocacy to ensure that the children received support, including access to protection and reintegration programmes. In that context, I welcome the signing by the Government of a workplan to prevent and respond to the association of children with armed violence and encourage that the provisions be fully implemented. Finally, I 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.