Statement By SRSG For Children And Armed Conflict On The Situation In Côte D’Ivoire

Statement by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire

New York, 25 January 2011 – “I am deeply troubled by the persistent allegations of killing, maiming and abduction of children in Côte d’Ivoire since the beginning of the post-electoral crisis. Also of concern is that the lack of access makes these allegations extremely difficult to verify. Additionally, girls and boys, who make up the bulk of refugees, fleeing to Liberia are tremendously vulnerable.

In recent years, Côte d’Ivoire has made significant strides forward in the protection of children. Five parties signed agreements with the United Nations committing not to recruit and use children and have released hundreds from their ranks. As a result, Côte d’Ivoire was removed from the list of shame in the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict.

I call on all parties to uphold their commitments not to recruit and use children and ensure that none of the other grave violations against children occur, namely: killing and maiming; sexual violence; denial of humanitarian access; abduction; and attacks on schools and hospitals.

All parties should remember that committing these violations against children in defiance of international law could result in the re-adding of Côte d’Ivoire and those parties responsible to the list of shame.”

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy

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For further information, please contact:

Timothy La Rose,

Communications Officer,

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict

+1 917-346-3404

larose@un.org

Muriel Gschwend,

Associate Communications Officer,

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

+917 367 35 62

gschwend@un.org

Website:http://www.un.org/children/conflict

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