This report, drawn up following consultations and covering the period from January to December 2020, is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2427 (2018). The report includes trends regarding the impact of armed conflict on children and information on violations committed, as requested by the Council in its resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions.1 To the extent possible, violations are attributed to parties to the conflict and to the annexes to this report includes a list of parties engaged in violations against children, namely recruitment and use of children, murder and mutilation of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, attacks on schools, hospitals and protected persons in connection with schools and / or hospitals2, and child abduction.
The information contained in this report has been verified by the United Nations for accuracy. When information is not verified, it is qualified as such. Where incidents were committed earlier but verified only in 2020, this information is qualified as relating to an incident which was verified at a later date. The information presented does not represent the full extent of violations against children, as verification depends on many factors, including access. The report presents trends and patterns of violations, and engagement with parties responsible for violations that could lead to behavior change, including the promotion of accountability and the inclusion of child protection provisions in peace processes. In the report, it is noted that attacks or threats of attacks against community and civic leaders, human rights defenders and monitors of violations against children are a source of concern and a strain on monitoring capacity.
In accordance with Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), my Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has taken a pragmatic approach to promote broad and effective protection of children. Reference to a situation is not a legal determination and reference to a non-state actor does not affect its legal status. Accordingly, the report documents situations in which apparent violations of international norms and standards are of such gravity as to merit international concern, given their impact on children. My Special Representative is bringing these situations to the attention of Governments, which have primary responsibility for the protection of children, in order to encourage them to take corrective action. Where actions taken by listed parties have had a positive impact on children or where current driving is of concern, this is highlighted. Based on enhanced engagement with parties, the annexes distinguish between listed parties that have put in place measures to improve the protection of children during the reporting period and those that have not. .