The United Nations have given the most important sanction resolution so far regarding the governments using child soldiers and targeting children in armed conflicts or condoning deaths of children. The United Nations Security Council, has approved the proposal of exposing the countries recruiting child soldiers in their army corps and armed groups fighting with children in lines. In this context, countries and groups mentioned in the annual report published every June by the Secretariat General of the United Nations titled as Child in Armed Conflicts, will be exposed. It is expected this case to pave the way for punishing the countries in question also in the medium term. In the report the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-mun published this year, 52 countries or armed groups using child soldiers have been detected. Syria and Libya where the civil war is going on have been included in the list for the first time. 32 of the countries, as they have been in the list for more than five years, are qualified as Repeat Offenders.
Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Pakistan
Non-governmental organizations running campaigns on child soldiers for years, have regarded this decision as an important step. The director of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, Eva Smets, has stated that the decision will accelerate the process of having those responsible for using child soldiers brought into court. However the proposal was not approved as easily as expected. While 11 countries in the United Nations Security Council have given aye vote, Russia, China, Azerbaijan and Pakistan have abstained. These four countries requested the application of exposure to be limited only with the conflicts to whom mission sent by only the United Nations. Pointing out that, the countries have abstained for the first time regarding a resolution regarding the protection of children in the presence of the United Nations, Smets defensed that this situation prevented the concrete steps to be taken. Emphasizing especially the final situation in Syria is worrisome, The United Nations Child and Armed Conflicts Ambassador, Leila Zerrougui, has called the Security Council to take action about children over the example of Syria.
ONLY THE SCHOOL BAGS OF SOME ARE HEAVY
The Coalition of Stopping the Use of Child Soldiers organizing an activity called Red Hand Day every year to draw attention to child soldiers, is one of the leading non-governmental organizations keeping the subject on the agenda in the presence of the United Nations. Activists had organized a striking awareness campaign recently: The association criticizing the daily difficulties of European parents such as "The school bags of the children are so heavy" by showing a photograph of an armed child, had called citizens to become self-aware with the slogan of "Keep up with the world".
(Taraf Newspaper, 21st September 2012)