- Peace and security. The needs of children and women must be
at the heart of all actions to resolve conflicts and implement peace agreements,
including those mandated by the United Nations Security Council, the General
Assembly or the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Peace-keepers have
a vital role to play in promoting children's rights.
- Monitoring and reporting violations of child rights. Children
in armed conflict situations must be treated as a distinct and priority
concern in all monitoring and reporting activities by UN field personnel
and any other responsible organizations which may be involved.
- Health, psychosocial well-being and education. These should
be the pillars of all humanitarian assistance for children in emergencies.
Psychosocial well-being can best be ensured through community rather than
institutional approaches. Education lies at the centre of a viable community,
so maintenance of schooling during emergencies is an indispensable imperative.
- Adolescents. Their educational, training and health care needs
should be given priority attention to assist their well-being and to discourage
their participation in armed conflict, trafficking, prostitution and drug
abuse. This cannot be achieved without the participation of youth in their
own personal and community development. Child-headed households urgently
need protection and care.
- Gender-based violence. Whether committed by a soldier or an
official, whether as a matter of public policy or individual behaviour,
all incidents of wartime rape and other sexual torture must be prosecuted
as war crimes. Military and peace-keeping troops and personnel of all humanitarian
agencies must have special training on their responsibilities to children
- Internally displaced children. In each emergency, a lead organization
should be assigned overall responsibility for the protection and assistance
of internally displaced persons. In collaboration with that lead organization,
UNICEF should provide leadership for the protection and assistance of internally
displaced and unaccompanied children, with particular reference to preventing
family separation and promoting family tracing.
- Child soldiers. A global campaign should be launched to stop
the recruitment of children under age 18 into armed forces and to ensure
that governments and opposition forces demobilize all such children immediately
and incorporate their needs into peace agreements and demobilization programmes.
The first such step should be to speedily conclude, adopt and adhere to
the draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
raising the age of recruitment and participation in armed forces to 18
- Land-mines. The report supports the international campaign for
a complete ban on the use, production, trade and stockpiling of land-mines;
programmes to instruct children in mine-contaminated areas about the dangers
of mines; child-centred rehabilitation programmes and land-mine clearance
with contributions required from countries and companies profiting from
- Prevention. The international community should closely monitor
arms transfers and impose a total ban on arms shipments to conflict zones.
Governments and civil society, with support from donors and development
agencies, must address the root socio-economic causes of conflict and support
the social infrastructure that protects children.
- Special Representative. A Special Representative of the Secretary-General
should be named to monitor implementation of this report and ensure that
issues of children and war are kept high on international human rights,
peace, security and development agendas.
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