UN Human Rights Council 44: UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

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Thank you, Madame Chair,

The United Kingdom thanks Special Representative Gamba for her report. We are a staunch supporter of and contributor to her mandate.

2020 marks an important year in the global commitment to protect children affected by conflict; it is the 20th anniversary of the UNCRC Optional Protocol and the 15th anniversary of the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism and Security Council Working Group. These mechanisms have contributed to significant achievements for children on the ground.

However, children continue to suffer the brunt of war.

The UK sees reintegration programming as critical for building sustainable peace. We find it troubling that only a small fraction of children released or separated from parties to conflict in 2019 have benefitted from such programming.

We are concerned by the high levels of children deprived of liberty for their real or alleged association with armed groups. We support the Special Representative’s call on Member States to treat these children primarily as victims, prioritising their reintegration into society, and to establish or strengthen juvenile justice mechanisms. Special Representative,

What new measures and policies might Member States and child protection organisations consider to improve recovery and reintegration of child survivors of sexual violence, and to support access to justice?

Thank you.

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