Watchlist Applauds UN Security Council Resolution on Protecting Children in Armed Conflicts, and Calls for Effective Implementation

Summary: The Watchlist applauds the adoption of the
Security Council’s resolution S/2005/1612,
which sets the stage for the UN to take the
long awaited step of systematically monitoring
the recruitment and use of child soldiers, as
well as other violations against children.

[NEW YORK, 26 July 2005] - The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
applauds the adoption of the Security Council’s new resolution on
protecting children in armed conflicts (S/2005/1612). This resolution sets
the stage for the UN to take the long awaited step of systematically
monitoring the recruitment and use of child soldiers, as well as other
violations against children, such as rape and abduction. Most importantly, it
calls for the information discovered through this monitoring system to be
reported back to the most powerful body in the UN – the Security Council.

“Security Council’s work does not end with the adoption of this resolution –
rather it begins here,” said Julia Freedson, Director of the Watchlist on
Children and Armed Conflict, a network of non-governmental organizations
working for the protection of children’s security and rights in situations of
armed conflict.

“For the hundreds of thousands of children and their families devastated
by armed conflicts raging around the globe, the UN must now ensure that
this system does not become a rhetorical exercise in information collection.
Rather, the driving force behind this effort to collect information must be
the pursuit of justice for crimes committed against children and preventing
future atrocities against them,” Freedson said.

To ensure that the resolution’s new child protection systems are effectively
and efficiently implemented, the Watchlist makes the following
recommendations:

- The Security Council must ensure that the political interests of parties to
conflict do not interfere with the Council’s review of data submitted them
and the action they decide to take. They must quickly establish a Working
Group that is able to muster the political will needed to respond to the
most egregious violations against children that will be reported to them.

- The Security Council must make good on its promises to take “measures”
against parties that continue to recruit and use children as soldiers by
imposing targeted sanctions against these groups, such as weapon
embargoes and travel bans on their leaders.

- The UN agencies that will be collecting information in conflict areas must
ensure that they are well organized and coordinated. They must respect
and engage local civil society organizations and community leaders as
equal partners in this task.

- Donor countries must be forthcoming with the support needed to ensure
that the UN finally establishes an effective and efficient system for
protecting the security and rights of children.

Contact: Julia Freedson +212.551.2743 or juliaf@womenscommission.org

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