Watchlist Newsletter

October 2012


Updates from the field

Nepal: The End of an Era for the MRM?
In 2003, Nepal’s Maoists were one of the first armed groups to be listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict. The group was delisted this year, following the successful implementation of an action plan signed in 2009 to end the use and recruitment of children. Around 3,000 minors present in Maoist cantonments were demobilized under UN monitoring and reintegrated in their families and communities. No further cases of use and recruitment of children by Maoist elements were reported.

Nepal is one of the first cases within the children and armed conflict agenda where a full MRM cycle has been completed: listing, constitution of a country task force on monitoring and reporting, submission of country-specific reports to the Security Council’s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, conclusions adopted by the Working Group, signature and implementation of an action plan and de-listing.

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Updates from New York

2012 Open Debate: Security Council Resolution 2068
On 19 September 2012, the United Nations Security Council held its annual Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict. The debate took place on the basis of the Secretary-General’s 11th Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict and in the presence of the Secretary-General’s new Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui. In line with the Concept Note circulated by Germany as President of the Security Council, the Open Debate focused on the theme of accountability. At the beginning of the debate, the Security Council adopted resolution 2068 emphasizing the importance of accountability for perpetrators of grave violations against children. Controversially, for the first time in relation to a resolution on children and armed conflict, four States abstained from supporting the resolution. After the vote, 47 delegations, speaking on behalf of almost 90 States, took the floor during the debate, with the overwhelming majority offering strong support for the United Nations’ Children and Armed Conflict agenda.

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Watchlist Advocacy Around the Open Debate
To help promote discussion on accountability for persistent perpetrators and protect the Children and Armed Conflict agenda (CAAC), Watchlist undertook several advocacy activities throughout the week of the Open Debate. On 17 September, Watchlist and the International Peace Institute held a roundtable discussion, Voices from the Field: Protecting Children from Conflict and Strengthening Accountability of Armed Actors, which aimed to bridge the perspectives of local child rights advocates from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nepal, and Colombia and New York-based global policy-makers. The discussion focused on two main topics: (1) how the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) established by Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) has contributed to better protect children from the effects of armed conflict; and (2) ways to strengthen accountability of armed actors violating children’s rights.
In addition, Watchlist and the Mission of Liechtenstein launched a new user-friendly Smartphone application on the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict agenda, aimed to provide policy-makers and those seeking to influence them with readily available key documents and language on child protection issues. The smartphone app was launched in the presence of the newly elected Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG), Ms. Leila Zerrougui.

Working together to protect the security and rights of children
Watchlist monitors and reports on the situation of children affected by armed conflicts in specific countries around the world.  

Watchlist provides its partners in the global south with technical support and advice to strengthen their ability to monitor abuses, to advocate on behalf of children in their communities and to respond to local needs.

With our unique perspective as a bridge between local actors and international policy makers, we are able to find and present practical solutions to the protection of children in conflict zones.
Watchlist staff and partners at the IPI Round Table Discussion
Children and Armed Conflict
Key News

Colombia: A Colombian army officer has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder and rape of a girl, a conviction hailed by rights groups as a rare victory in the fight to get justice for sexual crimes committed during the country’s decades-old conflict.
 –AlertNet, September 28, 2012. Click here to read more.
One of the largest armed movements in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), has recently affirmed its commitment prohibiting the recruitment and use of child soldiers
–StarAfrica, September 16, 2012. Click here to read more.

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