The Security Council recognized early on the need for robust action including sanctions against individuals persistently committing violations against children in armed conflict. These sanctions include arms embargoes, asset freezes, and travel bans.

Gradual move towards sanctions

The readiness of the Security Council to impose sanctions against violators of the rights of children in armed conflict has developed over time. In Security Council resolution 1539 (2004), the Council expressed for the first time its intention to consider imposing targeted and graduated measures against parties to conflict violating the rights of children. This commitment was reaffirmed in resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), and 1998 (2011).

Who has been sanctioned?

The sanctions architecture is complex. To date, sanctions can only be adopted against individuals when:

  • there is an existing sanctions committee in place;
  • when the committee is mandated to take actions in the occurrence of violations against children.

The Sanctions Committees dealing with the situations in Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia fulfill these criteria and have sanctioned two individuals in Côte d’Ivoire and 14 individuals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for grave violations committed against children.

Strengthen the work with the sanctions committees

More must be done to strengthen the sanctions regime against individuals committing grave violations against children. Closer cooperation between the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and existing sanctions committees is a first important step. Regular briefings by the Special Representative to the sanctions committees would also enhance knowledge on persistent violators. Finally, the mandate of all existing sanctions committees should include violations against children.