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UN SG urges measures to combat use of child soldiers

[JURIST] United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] on Tuesday issued a report [text] pushing for the enforcement of sanctions against more than 12 countries who continue to use child soldiers in armed combat. According to the report, child soldiers continue to be used in African and Asian countries, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Sudan and Sri Lanka, in violation of international laws that protect children in armed conflict. Ban noted that the use of child soldiers violates in particular the Geneva Convention of 1949 and its 1997 protocols, the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 and its optional protocol, and the International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 [texts].

Ban listed several recommendations for the Security Council [official website] in combating child soldier recruitment in the listed countries, including imposing sanctions against those who continue to recruit children for combat. Also in his report, Ban identified ongoing abuses committed against children, including sexual assaults, abductions, and the denial of humanitarian aid, food and education. The report urges the Security Council to "give equal weight to all categories of grave violations" against children. Ban also urged individual UN member states to crack down on parties in their countries that systematically use child soldiers or commit abuses against children. Reuters has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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