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Armed Conflict: Children

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 20401, tabled on 25 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made through the United Nations Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in tackling the use of child soldiers in conflict zones.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

3 March 2020

The UK is an active permanent member of the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. These violations include: the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, killing and maiming of children, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access to children in conflict. The Working Group focuses on responding to the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC which lists governments and armed groups for committing grave violations against children. As a member of the group, the UK applies diplomatic pressure to listed parties to enter into concrete UN action plans to verify and release any children associated with armed groups and forces, to prevent re-recruitment and ensure the provision of appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance. In recent years, we have negotiated strong calls to action for parties to conflict in Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia.

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