Listing Parties to Conflict Who Commit Grave Violations Against Children
Pictures of small children carrying automatic weapons under the influence of drugs had flooded the media since the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone had begun. This was deemed to be an unacceptable state of affairs. The Security Council therefore decided on a listing process – a naming exercise indicating to the world who is committing grave violations against children and where they are active.
Since 2002, the Secretary-General is listing parties to conflict who are recruiting and using children in the annexes of his annual report on children and armed conflict.
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 2015 report, 57 parties in 15 country situations have been listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report including eight government forces.
Parties can be de-listed if they enter into Security Council-mandated time bound action plans with the United Nations. These plans outline a list of concrete activities to halt and prevent the violations they are listed for.
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 compliance with international law and the release of thousands of children.