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Dix ans de rapports Machel

Image de l'UNICEF
© UNICEF/ HQ01-0370/Roger LeMoyne
Sudan: Two small boys, one with his arm around the other, walk near Rumbek, capital of the southern province of Lakes. One of the boys wears an over-sized T-shirt bearing the UNICEF logo and the words "All children all rights everywhere," which he acquired at a transit camp for recently demobilized child soldiers that is situated in the town.

17 octobre 2007 - L'UNICEF et la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour les enfants et les conflits armés (SRSG)ont présenté un nouveau rapport, publié en octobre 2007. Celui-ci recommande vivement à tous les États membres de L'ONU - les pays donateurs aussi bien que ceux ravagés par la guerre - d'accomplir leurs responsabilités envers les enfants dans les zones de conflit.

Avec pour point de repère l'Étude Graça Machel de 1996, « Impact des conflits armés sur les enfants », le nouveau rapport couvre la décennie passée. Étant donné la nature changeante des conflits dans le monde et les menaces qu'il impose aux enfants, cet examen de l'Étude  Machel est particulièrement opportun. 

L'Examen constate que, dans les zones de guerre du monde entier, les civils - particulièrement les enfants - ne sont pas simplement pris au piège des tirs croisés croisés. Ils sont de plus en plus les cibles de violence, d'abus et d'exploitation, victimes de groupes peu formés, munis d'armes légères qui chassent des civils. Les enfants sont les victimes d'agression sexuelle, d'attaques terroristes, des frappes contre les écoles et les hôpitaux et d'enlèvements pour les forcer à servir comme combattants, comme  serviteurs ou comme esclaves sexuels. Leurs biens familiaux, saisis ou détruits, les exposent à la pauvreté, la faim et la maladie. Often the violence claims their first and only line of defense – their parents.

While the original study alerted the world to the brutal realities faced by child combatants, this new report broadens the concept of children affected by war to include all children affected in all situations.  This new approach seeks to protect not only those children whose physical security is threatened, but also those who are in dire need of basic services -- such as education, health, water and sanitation – or those who are displaced by war or suffering from hunger or disease. Consider the following statistics:

  • In 2006 more than 18 million children were displaced by war, both with and without their families;
  • At least 50 percent of the world’s out-of-school children are living in conflict zones;
  • Aid agencies estimate that only 30 percent of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have access to even the most basic health services.

A number of international legal standards protecting children from the horrors of combat have emerged in the past decade in response to the original Machel Study. Yet despite this progress, hundreds of thousands of boys and girls continue to serve as fighters, cooks, porters, messengers and for sexual purposes.  The strategic review calls upon governments to adhere to international norms protecting children and to use their influence to put an end to the unlawful recruitment and use of children in armed conflict. Other key recommendations include a call to end impunity for violators of children’s rights and to include children in the peace-building process.
 
Indeed, the importance of allowing young people to speak out on conflict is reflected in the simultaneous release of a separate report – “Will You Listen: young voices from conflict zones.”  This moving and often heart-breaking account depicts the horrors many children have endured as well as their hope to build a new life free of violence.

Related press releases and news notes:

NEW YORK, 17 October 2007 Ten years on, Machel Review cites continued abuse against children in conflicts


 

 

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