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Armed Conflict: Children

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 124193, tabled on 2 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the trends in the number of children (a) killed and (b) maimed by the use of explosive weapons in conflict zones over the last 10 years, and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

7 December 2020

The UK's objectives on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) are primarily pursued through our engagement with the UN. The UK is an active permanent member of the UN Security Council Working Group on CAAC, which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. These violations include: the killing and maiming of children, including by the use of explosive weapons. The Working Group focuses on responding to the UN Secretary-General's annual report and country specific reports on CAAC which assess the treatment of children within conflict zones and list governments and armed groups for committing grave violations against children. At the UN Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on 23 June, the UK reaffirmed our commitment to tackling violations against children in armed conflict and highlighted the need for a transparent and credible framework for accountability based on a standardised and evidence-backed approach to de-listing and listing of state and non-state actors for violations.

The UK is the largest single financial contributor to the office of the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) for CAAC, contributing £1.3m over the last six years in support of her core mandate. The UK increased its funding to £550,000 in FY20/21. This includes the funding of the SRSG's visits, political engagements, technical missions to support UN Country Taskforces on Monitoring and Reporting who collect information, assess trends, respond to grave violations and engage in advocacy, notably to negotiate and implement Action Plans to end the recruitment and use of children. For FY 19/20, the UK also funded Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict to produce two reports on "Defending and Upholding the Children and Armed Conflict Agenda: Advocacy for Children's Rights" and "A Credible List": Recommendations for the Secretary-General's 2020 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict," in support of securing greater accountability for violations of children's rights in conflict.

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