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UN work on measures to protect children during war

Security Council starts work on measures to protect children during war

A newly-formed Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, chaired by France, has started work on implementing a resolution approved in July to promote the rights of children affected by armed conflict anywhere in the world.

In a landmark inaugural session last week, the Permanent Representative of France, Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière, told the 15-member group: "The establishment of this Working Group demonstrates the Security Council's concrete commitment to combat children's rights violations in armed conflict, which are unacceptable and must not go unpunished."

The Council is one of the key "destinations for action" responsible for taking concrete action in response to grave violations against children.

The Working Group will play an important role in implementing the monitoring and reporting mechanism to track the situation of children in armed conflict around the globe, securing the Council's timely review of progress achieved and its decisions on measures to be taken against repeat offenders.

The mechanism will track grave violations by all parties to armed conflict, both governments and insurgents, focusing particularly on those killing or maiming children, recruiting or using child soldiers, attacking schools or hospitals, raping or perpetrating other sexual violence against children, denying them humanitarian access, or abducting them.

"The meeting of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict is a turning point which signals the end of an era, marked by silent witness, and the beginning of an era of application of international norms for the protection of all children exposed to armed conflict," the UN Department of Public Information said.

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