Do more to support children born of rape in armed conflict and their mothers, UN committees urge states

GENEVA (19 November 2021) – Children born as a result of rape committed in armed conflict need better help and support, while women survivors of sexual violence need full protection from state, two UN committees asked in a joint statement on Friday.

“Children born of rape in the context of armed conflict and their mothers are stigmatized, isolated and deprived of resources. They face discrimination in many ways and on many fronts, as well as marginalization by their own communities,” the UN said. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said.

The Committees noted that the birth of these children is often not registered and that this lack of official documents often affects their right to a nationality.

“These barriers can undermine a child’s human rights, right through to adulthood, as they can face huge challenges integrating into society,” they added.

Both Committees called on States parties to uphold their obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Given the risk of children becoming stateless, the committees have urged governments to ensure that children born of rape are registered with a nationality. “Furthermore, abandoned children should have access to care services,” the Committees stressed.

The committees also highlighted the high levels of violence girls are often subjected to in conflict situations. “States parties should do their utmost to rescue girls who have been abducted, ensure their integration into society and provide them and their families with access to psychosocial and other rehabilitative services,” they stated.

CEDAW and CRC called for accountability on all forms of gender-based violence against women and children, including sexual abuse and exploitation, sexual slavery, domestic servitude, child marriage and forced marriage, as well as the recruitment and use of children during insurgencies and in other slavery-like practices.

They also underlined the importance of defending the rights of women and children as central pillars for building and maintaining peace in societies.

CEDAW and CRC collaborate with the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict to support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security/ sexual violence in conflict. The joint declaration, now available onlineshould inform the Secretary-General’s next special report on this issue.

ENDS

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Fund
the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women monitors States Parties’ compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Womenwho has so far 189 States parties.

the Committee on the Rights of the Child monitors States Parties’ compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols on the participation of children in armed conflictand on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. To date, the Convention has 196 States Parties.