Children in Armed Conflict

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Children in Armed Conflict

United Nations: Children and Armed Conflict in 2013

United States views on international law [1] in relation to United Nations: Children and Armed Conflict: On June 17, 2013, U.S. Alternate Representative to the UN for Special Political Affairs Jeffrey DeLaurentis delivered remarks at the UN at a Security Council open debate on Children and Armed Conflict. Ambassador DeLaurentis mentioned Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burma as examples of countries where the situation of children in armed conflict is particularly dire. He went on to call for greater and more crosscutting efforts to address the problem of children and armed conflict (“CAAC”):

Indeed, the Security Council requires more effective ways to deal with the growing number of persistent perpetrators, especially among armed groups. In this regard, we appreciate the Working Group’s focus on this issue, its efforts to develop appropriate tools, and commend the Secretary-General’s proposals, which deserve this Council’s serious consideration. The question of persistent perpetrators, however, raises a larger issue about the UN CAAC process itself. We can be proud of what it has accomplished, and we must strive to make it as effective as it can be. But it is only one tool among the many we should be using to protect children. Rather than attempting to make the Action Plan process a one-size-fits-all mechanism, we should promote CAAC Action Plans in tandem with other tools to comprehensively address the various contexts in which children are subjected to abuse. A wider range of efforts is needed, from holding perpetrators accountable and preventing them from committing abuses to resolving situations of conflict that enable such heinous crimes. For example, the conviction of Thomas Lubanga for unlawful child soldiering by the International Criminal Court sends an important message that these crimes will not be tolerated. Furthermore, several African countries are cooperating, with the support of the African Union, the United Nations, the United States, and others, to end once and for all the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), one of the world’s worst perpetrators of crimes against children. As noted in the Council’s discussion on May 29, this effort has resulted in a substantial drop in LRA attacks, the removal of two top LRA commanders from the battlefield, and the defection of scores of LRA fighters. And finally, peacemaking efforts work to safeguard endangered children by ending the armed conflict itself. Connecting these efforts into a comprehensive approach will strengthen the ultimate goals of the CAAC Action Plan process and concretely advance the plight of children caught in harm’s way.

Some Aspects of United Nations: Children and Armed Conflict

Ambassador DeLaurentis’s remarks are available in full at (link resource) usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/210722.htm.

In International humanitarian law Treaties

International humanitarian law (IHL) is based on a number of treaties, in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols, and a series of other instruments.

Victims of Armed Conflicts Treaties

  • Hague Convention on Hospital Ships, 1904, 21.12.1904
  • Hague Convention (XI) on Restrictions of the Right of Capture, 1907, 18.10.1907
  • Final Act of the Geneva Conference, 1949, 12.08.1949
  • Geneva Convention (I) on Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field,1949, 12.08.1949
  • Geneva Convention (II) on Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked of Armed Forces at Sea, 1949, 12.08.1949
  • Geneva Convention (III) on Prisoners of War, 1949, 12.08.1949
  • Geneva Convention (IV) on Civilians, 1949, 12.08.1949
  • Resolutions of the Diplomatic Geneva Conference, 1949, 12.08.1949
  • Teheran Resolution on Human Rights in Armed Conflict, 1968, 12.05.1968
  • United Nations Resolution on Human Rights in Armed Conflicts, 1968, 19.12.1968
  • Final Act of the Diplomatic Geneva Conference, 1974-1977, 10.06.1977
  • Additional Protocol (I) to the Geneva Conventions, 1977, 08.06.1977
  • Annex (I) Additional Protocol (I), as amended in 1993, 30.11.1993
  • Annex (I) Additional Protocol (I), 1977, 08.06.1977
  • Annex (II) Additional Protocol (I), 1977, 08.06.1977
  • Additional Protocol (II) to the Geneva Conventions, 1977, 08.06.1977
  • Resolutions of the Diplomatic Geneva Conference, 1974-1977, 10.06.1977
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, 20.11.1989
  • Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 2000, 25.05.2000
  • Additional Protocol (III) to the Geneva Conventions, 2005, 08.12.2005

Resources

Notes

  1. United Nations: Children and Armed Conflict in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

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