NEW YORK, 25 July 2005 - UNICEF today applauded the UN Security Council resolution that establishes a monitoring and reporting system for children affected by armed conflict. The new mechanism requires both governments and armed groups to use time-bound plans of action to end the use and recruitment of child soldiers and requires the UN system to monitor and report on grave violations against children, including the killing or maiming of children; recruitment or use of child soldiers; attacks against schools or hospitals; rape and other forms of sexual violence; abduction of children; and denial of humanitarian access.
UNICEF firmly supports the universal principle that the human rights of all children in all situations must be upheld and promoted by all parties to conflict.
Calling the resolution a "decisive step in the right direction", UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah said, "Countless children in conflicts worldwide have paid the price of inaction by those who are obligated to protect them. This is a critical measure to hold accountable the parties that continue to harm those children."
As the former UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Ms. Salah has worked extensively to spotlight the plight of children caught in armed conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo
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Allison Hickling, UNICEF Media, 212 326 7224 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org