Identifying Parties to Conflict Who Commit Grave Violations Against Children
In 2001, the UN Security Council sent a powerful message to the world that the recruitment and use of child soldiers would no longer be tolerated.
Resolution 1379 requested the Secretary-General to attach an annex to his report on children and armed conflict, in which he would list parties to conflict who recruit and use children in situations on the Security Council’s agenda.
In a significant step, the resolution went further by requesting the Secretary-General to also list parties to conflict in situations that, although not on the Security Council’s agenda, in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with Article 99 of the United Nations Charter.
New triggers for listing
On three 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 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)
- abduction of children – resolution 2225 (2015)
In the 2016 report, covering the year 2015, 59 parties in 14 countries have been listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report.
The Security Council indicated that to be removed from the annexes to the Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict, parties to conflict named in the report had to engage in dialogue with the UN to develop and fully implement Action Plans. Action Plans are designed to end and prevent violations against children for which parties to conflict are listed.
For example, an Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers by Government security forces can include the following actions:
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.The list of the Secretary-General is an important tool for advocacy and engagement, and has resulted in the release of thousands of children and compliance with international law.