While we are experiencing the rapid spread of the coronavirus throughout our country, there are some reports on violations against children in armed conflict areas.
Warring parties must immediately abide by international law to end violations against children to end this “moral crisis of our age.”
It is worth noting that plans are underway to approve the organizational set-up and tasks of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, which will be formed under the National-level Project – 2020-2021 which was approved by the President on 10 August. The project is playing a crucial role in preventing six grave violations against children in armed conflicts.
A strong mobilization of regional governments, donors, civil society and private sector is needed to ensure that the project keeps children safe in any situation.
Hence, the authorities concerned are to scale up efforts to pull children out of conflict-ridden circumstances and to prevent the current pandemic from making the issue more complex.
The Ministry of Defence instructed the regional military commands and security forces on 15 September to monitor armed conflicts and enforce the rules to ensure there are no incidents involving children during armed conflicts. The Ministry of Home Affairs also issued instruction for the police forces under it.
Also, the government will take actions following violations against children during armed conflicts, as determined by the Independent Commission of Enquiry-ICOE formed by the Office of the President.
Safety and security are enshrined in the Child Rights Law which guarantees our children, the future of our country, their rights, including security, development and protections. It is not just our moral obligation to make sure children are safe and secure, but a legal one, too.
The committee formed in 2019 on preventing six grave violations against children is also tasked with taking immediate measures to respond to information on actions which deviate from civilian and military law and order, and to take action following violations against children during armed conflicts.
Hence, all warring parties in our country have a duty to protect children from six violations under international law — killing and maiming of children, recruitment or use of children as soldiers, sexual violence against children, abduction, attacks against schools or hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access to children.
Please remember that the value of human society depends upon how it protects its children. The culture of impunity must end in our country.