Syria among 52 perpetrators of grave violations against children

On Tuesday the 12th of June, the UN Secretary-General
published his “list of shame”, which reported 52 parties who recruit and use, kill and maim or commit sexual violence against children in addition to those who attack schools and hospitals. This included four new parties in Sudan, Yemen and Syria.

Mr Ban’s annual report to the
Security Council on children and armed conflict gave an overview of the grave
violations committed against children in conflict zones, the main perpetrators,
as well as measures taken for the protection of children. The Secretary-General’s Special
Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, said
that 2011’s report showed a mixed picture: while new crises arose, such as in
Syria, violence against boys and girls has decreased in other parts of the
world. However, children in Syria fared much worse at the hands of the Syrian
armed forces, the intelligence forces, and the Shabiha militia. Young people
between 8 and 13 were forcibly taken from their homes and used by soldiers as
human shields. Schools have been regularly raided and used as military bases
and detention centres. “I am confident that these crimes will not go
unpunished,” said Ms. Coomaraswamy. She called for a stronger action against
the growing list of persistent perpetrators of grave violations against
children, which has doubled since last year to 32. In conclusion, she stated
that more pressure on these parties and closer collaboration with national and
international courts are necessary.