Committee: Disarmament

Question of: Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict

Submitted by: Netherlands

Noting the advances made for the protection of children affected by armed conflict particularly in the areas of advocacy and the development of norms and standards,

Deeply concerned with the lack of overall progress on the ground where parties in conflict continue to violate with impunity the relevant provisions of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict,

Recalling the responsibilities of states to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children,

Reiterating its primary responsibility for the maintenance of the international peace and security and, in this connection, its commitment to address the widespread impact of armed conflict on children,

Underlining the importance of full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and goods and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children affected by armed conflict,

Noting that the conscription or enlistment of children under the age of 15 or using them to participate actively in hostilities in both international and non-international armed conflict is classified as a war crime by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

Further noting that the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict requires states to set a minimum age of 18 for compulsory recruitment and participation in hostilities and to raise the minimum age for voluntary recruitment to that set out in article 38, paragraph 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to take all feasible measures to ensure that that members of their armed forces who have not yet attained the age of 18 years do not take a direct part in hostilities,

Stressing its determination to ensure respect for its resolutions and other international norms and standards for the protection of children affected by armed conflict,

  1. Strongly condemns the recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties in armed conflict in violation of international obligations applicable to them including;
    1. killing and maiming of children,
    2. rape and other sexual violence mostly committed against girls,
    3. abduction and forces displacement,
    4. denial of humanitarian access to children,
    5. attacks against schools and hospitals
    6. trafficking, forced labour and all forms of slavery
    7. all other violations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict,
  2. Expresses its intention to take appropriate measures to curb linkages between illicit trade in natural and other resources, illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, cross-boarder abduction and recruitment and armed conflict;
  3. Requests the Disarmament Committee to propose effective measures to control this illicit trade and trafficking;
  4. Suggests that a body named the Confederation Against Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict (CACSAC) is set up in order to oversee the measures are correctly implemented;
  5. Calls upon all parties concerned to abide by the international obligations applicable to them relating to the protection of children affected by armed conflict where applicable in the context of the cooperation framework between the UN, CACSAC, and the government in question;
  6. Urges states and the UN to recognise the important role of education in conflict areas in halting and preventing recruitment and re-recruitment of children contrary to the obligations set out in clause 5;
  7. Reiterates its requests to all parties concerned to continue to ensure that all children associated with armed forces and groups are systematically included in ever disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process;
  8. Encourages support for CACSAC in the development and strengthening of capacities of national and regional institutions and local and regional civil society networks to ensure the sustainability of local initiatives for advocacy, protection and rehabilitation of children affected by armed conflict.

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