UN / CHILDREN ARMED CONFLICT

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02-Aug-2019 00:02:44
Presenting the Secretary-General’s report of children in armed conflict, Special Representative Virginia Gamba, told the Security Council that “unfortunately,” the report shows “an increase in killing and maiming and similar levels of sexual violence as previous years.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / CHILDREN ARMED CONFLICT
TRT: 02:45
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior, UN Headquarters

02 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, China Ambassador
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict:
“Unfortunately, for all our efforts to date, we are not yet at a point where we can be confident that the situation is improving year upon year. The report before you speaks for itself. Although we have less violations across four categories, we have an increase in killing and maiming and similar levels of sexual violence as previous years.”
5. Med shot, Peru Ambassador
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):
“There were more than 24,000 documented violations against children in armed conflict in 2018 up from 21,000 the year before. And half of those violations involved the killing and maiming of children. And those are just the verified incidents, the numbers are actually higher. So, we must do better. At UNICEF we are deeply distressed by the continued, rampant use of explosive weapons and their impact on children.”
7. Wide shot, Fore at the dais
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):
“Protecting the lives and futures of children affected by armed conflict is not just the right thing to do; it is in our collective self-interest. In conflict and post-conflict situations worldwide, we must engage actively with young people to prevent spiraling violence and achieve lasting peace. They are the adults and the leaders of tomorrow. In the spirit of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, let us do better, let us do more to protect vulnerable children. Our global future may depend on it.”
9. Med shot, Gamba and UNICEF Canada Ambassador Mariatu Kamara
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Mariatu Kamara, UNICEF Canada Special Representative:
“In 1999, when I was 11 years old and living through the eleven years civil war in my country in Sierra Leone, my life was changed forever. Living in a brutal and lawless land, one day the rebels attacked my village and three cousins and myself were captured and held hostage for a day. During this time, witnessed lots of brutalities, such as. killings, maiming and burning houses, yet my life was spared.”
11. Wide shot, Council

STORYLINE:

Presenting the Secretary-General’s report of children in armed conflict, Special Representative Virginia Gamba, today (2 Aug) told the Security Council that “unfortunately,” the report “an increase in killing and maiming and similar levels of sexual violence as previous years.”

Gamba said, “for all our efforts to date, we are not yet at a point where we can be confident that the situation is improving year upon year.”

UNICEF’s Director -General, Henrietta Fore, noted that the report indicates that “there were more than 24,000 documented violations against children in armed conflict in 2018 up from 21,000 the year before” and stressed that “half of those violations involved the killing and maiming of children.”

The Children's Fund chief said, “at UNICEF we are deeply distressed by the continued, rampant use of explosive weapons and their impact on children.”

Fore told Council members that “protecting the lives and futures of children affected by armed conflict is not just the right thing to do; it is in our collective self-interest.”

She said, “in conflict and post-conflict situations worldwide, we must engage actively with young people to prevent spiraling violence and achieve lasting peace. They are the adults and the leaders of tomorrow. In the spirit of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, let us do better, let us do more to protect vulnerable children. Our global future may depend on it.”

For her part, Mariatu Kamara, a survivor of Sierra Leone’s brutal decade-long civil war, described how at age 11 her life “was changed forever” when rebels attacked her village.

Kamara, who is an author and a Special Representative for UNICEF Canada, said, “three cousins and myself were captured and held hostage for a day.”

During this time, she said, she “witnessed lots of brutalities, such as. killings, maiming and burning houses,” yet her life was “spared” when after having her hands cut off, she was left for dead.

According to the report, the recruitment and use of children continued unabated with more than 7,000 children drawn into frontline fighting and support roles globally.

Incidents of sexual violence against boys and girls remained prevalent in all situations (933 cases), but the violation continued to be underreported due to lack of access, stigma and fear of reprisals

A total of 13,600 children benefited from release and reintegration support worldwide, an increasing number compared to the previous year (12,000). 2,253 children were separated from armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 833 in Nigeria and 785 in the Central African Republic. As the number of children released is increasing, resources and funding for reintegration support must meet the growing needs, as called for in Security Council resolution 2427 (2018) and highlighted in the report’s recommendation.
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