Recently, the annual report of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Children and Armed Conflict was published. The report has dropped India’s name from the list in view of measures taken by the Government, specifically in Jammu and Kashmir, to better protect children.
GS II: International Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Children and Armed Conflict Report
- Major Highlights of the Children and Armed Conflict Report 2022
- Steps Taken by the Indian Government to Protect Children
Children and Armed Conflict Report
The Children and Armed Conflict Report is an annual report that provides a comprehensive overview of the situation of children affected by armed conflict. Here are key details about the report:
Role of the Special Representative:
- The report is prepared under the guidance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
- The Special Representative serves as the leading advocate within the United Nations for the protection and well-being of children impacted by armed conflict.
Focus on Child Soldiers and Victims:
- The report highlights the issue of child soldiers and emphasizes the disproportionate impact of war on children.
- It recognizes children as the primary victims of armed conflict and seeks to address their specific needs and vulnerabilities.
Establishment of the Special Representative:
- The position of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict was created in 1997 by the Secretary-General.
- The objective was to enhance the protection of children affected by armed conflict and promote international cooperation in this regard.
Responsibilities of the Special Representative:
- The Special Representative is tasked with raising awareness about the challenges faced by children affected by armed conflict.
- They also work to promote the monitoring and reporting of abuses against children in conflict-affected areas.
Reporting and Accountability:
- As part of their mandate, the Special Representative presents an annual report to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.
- The report provides important insights into the situation of children in conflict zones and helps in assessing progress and gaps in protecting their rights.
Major Highlights of the Children and Armed Conflict Report 2022
The Children and Armed Conflict Report 2022 provides important insights into the impact of armed conflict on children and the violations committed against them. Here are some of the major highlights from the report:
Disproportionate Impact on Children:
- Children continued to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict in 2022.
- The number of children verified as affected by grave violations increased compared to the previous year.
Number of Affected Children:
- A total of 18,890 children were verified as affected by grave violations in 24 conflict situations.
- Among these children, there were 13,469 boys, 4,638 girls, and 783 cases where the sex was unknown.
Types of Violations:
- The highest numbers of violations were the killing of 2,985 children and the maiming of 5,655 children.
- The recruitment and use of children affected 7,622 children, and the abduction of children affected 3,985 children.
Regions with Highest Violations:
The highest numbers of grave violations were verified in the following regions:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Israel and the State of Palestine
Increase in Violations in Myanmar:
- Hostilities spreading into new areas in Myanmar led to a significant increase in grave violations, with a rise of 140 percent compared to the previous year.
Steps Taken by the Indian Government to Protect Children
The Indian government has taken various steps to protect children and address issues related to their welfare. Here are some of the key measures:
Establishment of Infrastructure:
- Infrastructure such as Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, and Child Care Homes has been established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 to ensure the effective implementation of child protection measures.
Implementation of UN Recommendations:
- Several measures recommended by the United Nations (UN) have been implemented or are in progress in India.
- Training programs for security forces on protecting children have been conducted, and the use of pellet guns has been suspended to minimize harm to children.
- The Juvenile Justice Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012 are actively enforced to address and prevent crimes against children.
Improved Accessibility to Child Protection Services:
- Efforts have been made to improve the accessibility of child protection services in various states, including Chhattisgarh, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
- The progress in establishing a J&K Commission for the Protection of Child Rights was acknowledged as a positive step.
-Source: Indian Express