In 2001, the Security Council sent a powerful message to the world that the recruitment 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.

Subsequent resolutions added four additional triggers for listing: sexual violence, killing and maiming, attacks on schools and hospitals and abduction of children.

The Security Council indicated that to be removed from the Secretary-General’s annex, 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.

Tools for Action

Additionally, advocacy efforts focusing on a number of key priorities is used to mainstream the Children and Armed Conflict agenda. Among the priorities, the delivery of comprehensive and long-term reintegration assistance for children, as well as the rights of children confronted to justice systems, both as victims and perpetrators.

A particular advocacy initiative is the campaign “Children, Not Soldiers”, launched in 2014 with UNICEF to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by Government forces in conflict.