Increase in the number of children recruited and involved in dangerous terrorism-related activities worrying trend India

By Yoshita Singh
United Nations, July 20 (PTI) India has expressed concern over the growing number of children recruited and involved in terrorism-related activities, calling it a “dangerous and disturbing trend” and called on Member States to United Nations to demonstrate “greater political will” to hold perpetrators of terrorism and their sponsors to account and fulfill Security Council obligations to protect children.
Addressing the UNSC High Level Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on Tuesday, the Chargé d’Affaires at India’s Permanent Mission to Ambassador R Ravindra said school closures due of the pandemic have been misused by terrorist groups to target children, including through the Internet. pathways of radicalization and indoctrination to violent extremist ideologies.
“A dangerous and disturbing trend in global terrorism is the growing number of children who are recruited and involved in terrorism-related activities. For terrorist groups, children are the most susceptible to manipulation, whether as active participants in terror or as human shields to protect perpetrators of terror,” he said.
“There is an urgent need for a more coordinated approach in the implementation of the child protection and counter-terrorism agenda. Member States must show greater political will to hold perpetrators of terrorism and their sponsors accountable and to fulfill the Council’s obligations on child protection,” said Ravindra.
The debate took place a week after the publication of the Secretary-General’s report on “Children and armed conflict”. The report mentions that more than 25% of child victims (2,257 children) were caused by mines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war.
“It is of grave concern that terrorist groups are using landmines and improvised explosive devices as inexpensive and effective options for instilling terror and threatening innocent civilians, including children. This use has only increased; we must strongly condemn and take effective measures to combat this trend,” said Ravindra, adding that India supported the efforts of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNDP and other agencies working in conflict zones around the world.
He said that India recognizes the importance of having adequate resources and the required number of child protection advisers in peacekeeping missions for the effective implementation of child protection programs. .
“The Council should consider incorporating adequate child protection provisions and capacities into all relevant mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations. to the maintenance of a lasting peace,” the envoy said.
Ravindra noted with concern that children continue to suffer disproportionately in most situations of armed conflict around the world, remain the most susceptible to suffering, and are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of armed conflict.
India stressed the need to end impunity for all actors instigating and perpetrating grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict.
Ravindra stressed that it is vital for Member States to develop a comprehensive legal framework in line with international standards, to ensure the effective prosecution of crimes against children.
“National governments have the primary responsibility to prosecute and deter such crimes in conflict situations on their territory, even if they are alleged to have been committed by non-state actors,” he said. , adding that if necessary, the UN could help member states. to build their capacity to deal with this problem.
The envoy stressed that while significant progress has been made to protect children in situations of armed conflict, grave violations against children continue to persist and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified the risks children face. are faced. “It is therefore important that Member States also focus on child protection measures in their pandemic response and recovery plans,” he said.
India also stressed that Member States must support effective legal frameworks for the protection and promotion of children’s rights.
“It is important to create an enabling and conducive environment to ensure the holistic development of a child with a focus on nutrition, education and security. Children growing up in conflict and post-conflict situations often need a fresh start,” said Ravindra, stressing that supporting national governments to strengthen legal and operational tools for child protection is important in this context. PTI YAS SCY AKJ SCY

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