|© UNICEF/NYHQ2005-2020/Shehzad Noorani|
|Two soldiers stand guard as a girl carrying an infant walks past a barbed-wire fence on her way to a UNICEF-assisted shelter in the village of Lamit near the northern town of Kitgum. She is a 'night commuter' seeking to escape LRA abduction or attack.|
The United Nations (UN) Security Council has been seized by issues related to children affected by armed conflict since 1999, and has since issued 7 resolutions on this thematic issue. In 2005, the Security Council requested in Resolution 1612 the UN Secretary-General to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM), managed by country-based task forces co-led by UNICEF and the highest UN representative in the country, to provide timely and reliable information on six grave children’s rights violations:
1. Killing or maiming of children
2. Recruitment or use of children by armed forces or armed groups
3. Attacks on schools or hospitals
4. Rape or other sexual violence against children
5. Abduction of children
6. Denial of humanitarian access to children
The Security Council requests the UN Secretary-General to list in his annual reports on children and armed conflict the names of armed forces or armed groups that recruit or use children, kill or maim children, and rape or commit other sexual violence against children and urged parties involved in armed conflict to develop and implement time-bound action plans to halt these grave violations against children (Security Council Resolutions 1612 (2005) and 1882 (2009)).
Through the task forces in conflict affected countries covered by the MRM, UNICEF and partners collect information on grave violations committed against children to share with the UN Security Council and to develop appropriate responses to respond to children’s needs. As co-chair of each country-based MRM task force, UNICEF engages with government forces and rebel groups perpetrating recruitment or use of children, killing, maiming, rape or other sexual violence to develop action plans to end and prevent these violations from taking place, noting that governments hold ultimate responsibility for protecting children and ending impunity for grave violations against children.
With the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNICEF develops the tools, guidelines, training materials and information management systems necessary to strengthen the MRM.
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