UN / CHILDREN IN CONFLICT AREAS

Preview Language:   Original
ENGLISH 12-Feb-2018 00:01:40
On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, marked today, a report titled Cradled by Conflict: Child Involvement with Armed Groups in Contemporary Conflict, suggests that most children do not so much opt into conflict but instead grow into it.
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STORY: UN / CHILDREN IN CONFLICT AREAS
TRT: 01:40
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 FEBRUARY 2017, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Close up, exterior United Nations headquarters

12 FEBRUARY 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, dais
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Siobhan O’Neil, Project Manager of the United Nations University’s Children and Extreme Violence Project:
“When you ask local populations why they are involved in conflict, they often cite intercommunal conflict, or resources in cattle, often exacerbated by climate change, extreme poverty, and state failure, retreat, and corruption. For them these are much more pressing, and the term violent extremism or radicalization doesn’t really resonate with their experience. A related finding is that ideology, again, given quite an outside import by others, doesn’t necessarily drive child association with these groups as it is often assumed.”
5. Med shot, dais
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Siobhan O’Neil, Project Manager of the United Nations University’s Children and Extreme Violence Project:
“In many cases, I think there is an assumption from the outside that kids have the option of remaining neutral in some of these conflicts. But in conflict zones, when armed groups control territory and they exert physical or economic coercion over the population, it is virtually impossible for children and their families to stay unaffiliated. When the state assumes every young man or boy is associated, there is no value in remaining unaffiliated.”
7. Med shot, journalists
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Siobhan O’Neil, Project Manager of the United Nations University’s Children and Extreme Violence Project:
“Ideology becomes important after the fact, as a post-facto justification for behaviour or association, or maybe in the indoctrination phase, but was not necessarily a primary factor in explaining why a child became involved in the first place.”
9. Wide shot, end of presser

STORYLINE:

On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, marked today (12 Feb), a report titled Cradled by Conflict: Child Involvement with Armed Groups in Contemporary Conflict, suggests that most children do not so much opt into conflict but instead grow into it.

At the launch of the report at UN Headquarters, Siobhan O’Neil, Project Manager of the United Nations University’s Children and Extreme Violence Project, responsible for the report in collaborating with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said “the term violent extremism or radicalization doesn’t really resonate with their experience” and ideology “doesn’t necessarily drive child association with these groups as it is often assumed.”

According to the report, conflict structures the information they see and the choices they make. It pulls and pushes them in many directions. Conflict erodes their relationships. It exacerbates their needs and exposes them to untold risks. Conflict shapes their identity and heightens their need to find meaning in their lives.

O’Neil said, “in conflict zones, when armed groups control territory and they exert physical or economic coercion over the population, it is virtually impossible for children and their families to stay unaffiliated.”

She said, “ideology becomes important after the fact, as a post-facto justification for behaviour or association, or maybe in the indoctrination phase, but was not necessarily a primary factor in explaining why a child became involved in the first place.”

Despite progress, boys and girls continue to be recruited, kidnapped, forced to fight or work for military groups or armed forces.

The International Day was initiated in 2002 when the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict entered into force on February 12, 2002. This protocol, which sets the minimum age for recruitment into armed forces in conflict at 18, has been ratified by 167 States.
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