The UN has been involved in supporting DDR programmes since the late 1980s. In the past five years alone, DDR has been a component of peacekeeping operations in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia and Sudan. Simultaneously, the UN has increased its DDR engagement in non-peacekeeping contexts, such as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Congo, Indonesia (Aceh), Niger, Somalia, Solomon Islands and Uganda.
UNICEF, a main partner in the development of the standards, is engaged in DDR programmes for children who have been recruited into armed groups and forces in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a critical issue for UNICEF, as globally there are an estimated 250,000 children involved with armed groups as soldiers, porters, administrative workers, and sex slaves.
The United Nations has been working since 2004 on a collective approach to DDR, aiming at functional policies and guidelines to support DDR programmes in countries emerging from conflict.
The new standards, together with a diverse range of tools for programme staff on the ground, will ensure that comprehensive, coordinated and consistent programmes are available to address the needs of children as they transition out of military groups and back into their communities and families.
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For further information, please contact:
Geoffrey Keele, Communication Officer, UNICEF NY :Tel + 212-326-7583; firstname.lastname@example.org