World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Save The Children: ‘Saudi Led Coalition Gets A Free Pass To Destroy Children’s Lives In Yemen Yet Again’

Despite killing and maiming at least 194 children in Yemen in 2020 according to UN verified data, the Saudi and Emirati led coalition gets a green light to continue destroying children’s lives in Yemen, Save the Children warned today.

In a disheartening decision, the UN Secretary General António Guterres again failed to include the coalition in this year’s ‘list of shame’.

It was taken off the list last year, with a commitment by the Secretary General to relist them unless there was a ‘sustained significant decrease in killing and maiming’. By not relisting the coalition, Guterres sends the message that reducing the number of child casualties to about two hundred is ‘good enough’ progress, Save the Children New Zealand's Advocacy and Research Director Jacqui Southey says.

"Children are being killed, maimed and robbed of their futures in this crisis. By not including the perpetrators of these atrocities against children, it undermines the value of the list itself," Ms Southey says.

The military in Myanmar, known as the Tatmadaw, was also delisted last year, despite the recruitment and use of 208 children in 2019. In 2020, the Tatmadaw recruited and used 726 children, more than a tripling of cases compared to the previous year.

Save the Children welcomes the decision by the Secretary General to include the Tatmadaw in the ‘list of shame’, albeit only on the ‘lighter’ section of the list for parties that ‘have put in place measures aimed at improving the protection of children’. Since the military coup and ensuing violence, children in Myanmar today are at even greater risk of recruitment and other grave violations.

The listing of the Afghan National Army for killing and maiming children, and of Somali government forces for sexual violence against children is also a positive step towards ensuring all parties are held to the same standard.

Unfortunately, other parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, the occupied Palestinian territory and Syria, also got a free pass for committing grave violations of children’s rights - despite the UN verifying a pattern of grave violations year after year.

The report included Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and the Lake Chad Basin for the first time as situations of concern. Save the Children welcomes these inclusions as an important step towards ensuring crimes against children are documented and perpetrators of violence against children are eventually held to account.

Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ukraine, however, were not included in the report as situations of concern. Save the Children is disappointed in this decision, which means many crimes against children in these countries will remain undocumented, and accountability will remain elusive.

Inger Ashing, CEO for Save the Children, said in response to the annual report:

"We strongly urge the Secretary General to reconsider his decision and hold parties to conflict all over the world to the same standard. The decision to include an armed actor in the ‘list of shame’ should be based only on a pattern of grave violations against children verified by the UN, not on politics.

"While there have been some positive steps this year, not applying the same criteria fairly and consistently can have dramatic consequences for children. My colleagues see how these double standards make it much harder to prevent violations against children such as killing and maiming, attacks on schools, recruitment or the denial of aid.

"The establishment of the Children and Armed Conflict mandate in 1997 was an inspiring example of what the international community is able to do when politics is set aside. It is one of the most powerful tools to hold accountable parties to conflict who destroy children’s lives, and ultimately protect children in conflict.

"The power of the mandate depends on its credibility. If you lose that, you lose one of the most important tools to hold perpetrators of violence against children in conflict to account."

The 25th anniversary of the Children and Armed Conflict next year provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the creation of the mandate by the UN Security Council, look back at the incredibly positive impact it has had for children in conflict and look forward at what is needed for the decades to come. This requires acknowledging the problems with previous attempts to politicise the list. The international community must find the courage to put aside narrow national interests and prioritise the protection of children in conflict.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>

Tale Of Two Pandemics: Follow The Science And Do Not Forget One At The Cost Of The Other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV... More>>


UN: Rights Chief Calls For Prompt Release Of Protestors Held In Cuba
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for the prompt release of protestors and journalists detained during anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, some of whom are being held incommunicado... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>


Shaping The Future Of Food Systems: Thousands Commit To Dialogues Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 130 governments are making food systems a top priority amid the pandemic and committing to an unprecedented programme of Dialogues in the run up to the UN Food Systems Summit in September... More>>

UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC