Today, August 2nd 2016, the UN Security Council is holding an open debate on children and armed conflict.
The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), of which AOAV is a member, presented a briefing paper encouraging states to use the debate to:
- Acknowledge the severe impact on children, and civilians more broadly, from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, including as a key driver of displacement;
- Endorse the UN Secretary-General’s recommendation and that of the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, that states should refrain from using explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas and to make a commitment to this effect.
- Indicate support for the development of an international political instrument to reduce harm from the use of explosive weapons, including stopping the use in populated areas of explosive weapons with wide area effects.
- Collect and make available to the UN and other relevant actors information on civilian harm resulting from the use of explosive weapons including age and gender disaggregated data, to better understand the impacts of such use.
AOAV monitors the impact of explosive weapons. We found that when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 92% of the casualties are likely to be civilian.
Recently, explosive violence has targeted schools, hospitals and homes – places where not only are civilians highly likely to be killed and injured, but also children. The violence also has long-term effects on well-being, such as education and health.
Though child casualties are poorly reported in media, AOAV saw that in 2015, 82% of all reported child casualties took place in populated areas.
AOAV reiterates INEW’s call on states to refrain from using of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas and to better protect children in armed conflict.
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