Monthly update on children and armed conflict – September 2021 – Afghanistan

Recommendations to the Security Council

Afghanistan

Four non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are listed in the annexes to the Secretary-General’s (SG) latest report on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for the recruitment and use of children and the murder and dismemberment of children. Of these, Taliban forces and affiliated groups are also listed for attacks on schools and hospitals and kidnappings, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP) is also listed for attacks on schools and hospitals. The Afghan National Army was recently listed in this year’s report for killing and mutilating children, although at the time of writing the Afghan National Army has de facto ceased to exist on the ground. . In the first half of 2021, child victims accounted for 32% of all civilian casualties, including the highest number of girl victims ever recorded by UNAMA. In September, UNAMA’s mandate is to be renewed, in accordance with SCR 2543 (2020). Following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the Security Council issued a press release calling for an immediate end to all hostilities, the formation of a new united, inclusive and representative government through inclusive negotiations, and respect for international humanitarian law (IHL). United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners, including UNICEF and Save the Children, have expressed their commitment to continue meeting the needs of vulnerable civilians, including children, in Afghanistan. Children were reportedly among the civilian casualties in the August 26 attack on Kabul airport. The Security Council should:

  • Demand that all parties, in particular the Taliban and affiliated groups, abide by their obligations under IHL and human rights law (IHL), and ensure full respect for the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, including the right of all children to education;

  • Call on the Taliban to keep their promises to protect civilians, to respect human rights, including the rights of women and girls, to ensure the safety of UN and civil society actors on the ground, including female staff, and to respect their neutrality, impartiality and independence;

  • Renew UNAMA’s child protection mandate and, in subsequent budget negotiations, ensure the allocation of additional resources, including for child protection capacity, to enable UNAMA to fully deliver and safe from that tenure;

  • Demand immediate, safe and unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in need, including children; ensure that counterterrorism measures and sanctions regimes do not hamper humanitarian action; and urge member states, including neighboring countries, to facilitate the safe passage of Afghans at risk of injury and provide emergency funding to ensure the continuation of the humanitarian response;

  • Call for the protection, rights, well-being and empowerment of children to be fully integrated and prioritized in efforts to build inclusive and sustainable peace, and to encourage and facilitate the inclusion of the views of children. children in these processes, where possible and compatible with their best interests, in accordance with SCR 2427 (2018) and drawing on the Practical Guide for Mediators.

ESTONIA AND NORWAY ARE THE LEADING COUNTRIES OF AFGHANISTAN.

Libya

Libya is a worrying situation in SG’s 2021 annual report (S / 2021/437). The SG expressed concern about the prevalence of child murder and mutilation and attacks on schools and hospitals in 2020, as well as the recruitment and use and cross-border trafficking from Syria to Libya, and the risks of sexual violence against children. In September, UNSMIL’s mandate is to be renewed, in accordance with SCR 2542 (2020), which called for the effective deployment of child protection advisers. In July, the Council welcomed the second Berlin conference and the engagement of the participants in the political process facilitated by the United Nations, led by Libya and held by the Libyans. The Council also reiterated its grave concern at the “dire situation facing migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, including children”. UNICEF’s mid-year report cites 668 children (199 girls, 469 boys) who were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in the first half of 2021, and most of these children were subjected to arbitrary detention in centers managed by the Ministry of the Interior. The Security Council should:

  • Urge all parties to abide by their obligations under IHL and IHL as they continue to take steps towards the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement; and call on the interim government to mitigate the effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war on children;

  • Reiterating concern over the continuing grave violations against children in Libya, call on all parties to immediately cease such violations, including all recruitment, use and cross-border trafficking of children; and request an update on the deployment of child protection advisers to UNSMIL, as requested in SCR 2542 (2020);

  • Call on the interim government to end the arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees, especially children; to release those illegally detained; and immediately put in place measures to prevent torture, sexual violence or other ill-treatment in detention;

  • Call on Member States to facilitate the voluntary return of their nationals, including the children of their nationals, detained for their actual or suspected association with ISIL or other armed groups, or of members of their families, and provide reintegration assistance in accordance with international standards and ensuring the best interests of the child;

  • Call for the protection, rights, well-being and empowerment of children to be fully integrated and prioritized in on-going efforts to build inclusive and sustainable peace, and to encourage and facilitate the inclusion of perspectives children in these processes, where possible and compatible with their best interests, in accordance with SCR 2427 (2018) and drawing on the Practical Guide for Mediators.

THE UNITED KINGDOM IS THE MAIN COUNTRY OVER LIBYA.