Watchlist Newsletter

June 2011


Updates from the field

Focus on Colombia
The Office of the Colombian Ombudsman and the Coalition Against the Involvement of Children and Minors in the Armed Conflict in Colombia (Coalico) organized a conference on children and armed conflict in Bogota from June 20 - 24, 2011. The purpose of the Conference was to assess to what extent the Security Council’s recommendations on children affected by armed conflict in Colombia had been implemented, in particular those featured in the 2010 conclusions of its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The Conference highlighted the continuous use of children by armed groups in Colombia as combatants, porters, informants and, in the case of girls, sexual slaves. It is difficult to get a precise idea of the number of children associated with armed groups in Colombia, but Coalico estimates that for each four persons forcibly recruited by armed groups in Colombia, one is a minor. Watchlist has partnered with Coalico for several years and Watchlist Capacity Strengthening Officer travelled to Bogota to participate in the Conference. Watchlist delivered a presentation on the evolution of the Monitoring & Reporting Mechanism (MRM).
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Updates from New York

Watchlist Briefing Note “Next Steps to Protect Children in Armed Conflict”
In preparation for the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict (scheduled for July 12, 2011), Watchlist prepared a Briefing Note entitled “Next Steps to Protect Children in Armed Conflict” on the basis of over 30 interviews with child protection stakeholders in New York and in the field. The briefing note outlines practical and achievable steps that the UN Security Council can take to ensure stronger protection for children affected by armed conflict, with a focus on attacks on schools and hospitals, but also addressed other key issues such as problematic perpetrators, sanctions and the improvement of work processes and impact of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism.
Read more


Watchlist Participates in High-Level Side Event on Children and Armed Conflict

Germany, who chairs the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, organized a high level side event on “Children and Armed Conflict: Attacks on Schools and Hospitals in Armed Conflict” on June 30. The purpose of the meeting was to foster a discussion on the issue of attacks on schools and hospitals among representatives of the UN, Member States and civil society. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered the introductory remarks. The event came in preparation for the upcoming Resolution on Children and Armed Conflict, which will likely put attacks on schools and hospitals under an enhanced form of scrutiny. Watchlist Director, Eva Smets, delivered a statement at this event with concrete recommendations for the Security Council.
Click here to read the statement 
Click here to view the webcast of the meeting

Round Table at the World Conference on Humanitarian Studies
The second World Conference on Humanitarian Studies, organized by the International Humanitarian Studies Associational (IHSA), took place at Tufts University from June 2nd to June 5th on the theme: “Changing Realities of Conflict and Crisis”. Watchlist took part in this Conference by coordinating a round table entitled “Protecting Children in Armed Conflict: experiences from the Central African Republic, Burma, Nepal and the Middle East” with representatives from UNICEF, Save the Children International, Karen Human Rights Group (Thai-Burma border) and the International Displacement and Monitoring Centre.

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.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Eva Smets delivers her statement at high level side event on children and armed conflict (06/30/2011)


Children and Armed Conflict
Key News - June 2011


Central African Republic:The Central African Republic on Sunday signed a ceasefire agreement with the last big active rebel group, paving the way for a peace deal and an end to years of conflict in the impoverished nation.
- AFP, June 12, 2011. Click here to read more.
Chad:  the Chadian Government signed an Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children in its armed forces.
June 16, 2011. Click here to read more.
Afghanistan: eight year old girl used in attack.
BBC, June 26, 2011. Click here to read more.

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Watchlist on Children and Armed Confict ("Watchlist") is a program of the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC). Both Watchlist and WRC are affiliated with and legally part of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Neither Watchlist nor the WRC receive direct financial support from the IRC.;

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