On March 16 2023, DCI delivered a joint statement at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Despite the protection that should be afforded to children by international law, armed conflict places them in situations of extreme vulnerability and risk. Children’s voices from conflict zones, increasingly remind us of their dreams, which are no different from those of any other child: have access to school and education, be protected from violence, among other concerns. Deprivation of liberty is one of the most harmful forms of violence against children. The NGO Panel, in partnership with the UN Task Force and the two SRSGs, organised on 8-9 November 2022 in Mauritania a Global Forum on Children Deprived of Liberty. The Global Forum worked on a Roadmap for Action to accelerate implementation of the Global Study’s recommendations, three years after its presentation to the UN General Assembly.
We call upon all parties to armed conflict:
- To end the detention of children for their actual or alleged association with armed actors and ensure that children victims of grave violations are swiftly transferred to child protection agencies for reintegration according to agreed handover protocols, with access to age and gender appropriate child protection, MHPSS, education and livelihoods support and services within ¡ communities that also contribute to their acceptance.
- To adopt and implement standard operating procedures for the immediate and direct handover of children from military custody to appropriate child protection agencies (in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2427);
- To recognise that children who are detained for actual or perceived association with armed groups are first and foremost victims of grave abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, and prioritise their recovery and reintegration (in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2427 of 2018 as well as with the Paris Principles and Commitments).
We call on all UN member states with nationals detained in northeast Syria for alleged association with the Islamic State to repatriate their nationals as a matter of urgency, giving priority to children, their mothers, and the most vulnerable.
Read the join full statement delivered here.
Download the Roadmap for Action here.