UN to monitor Ukraine war for violations against children

Jul 11, 2022, 1:11 AM | Updated: 5:20 pm
Markings are shown made by children and adults in the basement of a school which was used as a bomb...

Markings are shown made by children and adults in the basement of a school which was used as a bomb shelter for children and their parents, as their village was being attacked by Russian strikes, in Yahidne village, northern Chernihiv region, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. A few months after Russian troops retreated from Yahidne in the northern Chernihiv region, the village has gradually returned to life. No one in the village yet plans to rebuild the school; they prefer not to mention the place at all. Most of Yahidne's residents — almost 400 people — spent a month in the school's basement. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations announced Monday it will start monitoring the war in Ukraine and conflicts in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Africa’s central Sahel region for violations against children, including killings, injuries, recruitment, rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his annual report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict that those four new conflicts have been added to 21 conflicts that the U.N. already is monitoring for violations of the rights of children. He said the latter conflicts saw “a high number of grave violations” in 2021.

The U.N. chief said the protection of children was severely affected by escalating conflicts, the multiplication of armed groups, land mines and improvised explosive devices, explosive weapons in populated areas, intensified humanitarian crises, and violations of humanitarian and human rights law.

Virginia Gamba, the U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict, said at a news conference that “forays of extremely violent armed groups, military coups and instability, and violent electoral processes in fragile states, left 19,100 child victims of grave violations during 2021 in the 21 country and regional situations we monitored.”

The U.N. said it verified nearly 24,000 “grave violations” against children in 2021, including over 1,300 committed previously.

The highest numbers of violations last year were the 2,515 killings and 5,555 injuries tinvolving children, followed by the recruitment and use of 6,310 youngsters in conflicts, the report said.

Last year, it said, the number of child abductions rose by over 20% and cases of sexual violence against children continued to rise, also by over 20%.

The highest number of “grave violations” verified by the U.N. were in Afghanistan, Congo, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, it said.

While 70% of grave violations were against boys, that number decreased and “the number of girls who were casualties of killing and maiming, or subjected to abduction and sexual violence, increased, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin,” the report said.

Guterres said in the report that Ukraine was being added to the monitoring effort “because of the high intensity of this conflict” and in view of the violations against civilians, including children. He asked Gamba to urgently engage with all parties to address the protection of children and prevention of violations against them.

He said Mozambique was being added because of “the gravity and number of violations reported,” including recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and abductions.

The U.N. chief said Ethiopia was being added in view of “the gravity of clashes in 2021” between government forces and police, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and other parties including militias and regional forces. He cited violence against children including killings, rapes, sexual attacks, abductions and attacks on schools.

Gamba said the central Sahel region covering parts of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger was being added to the monitoring and reporting list for grave violations against children.

Human Rights Watch and the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, a coalition of non-governmental groups, both criticized Guterres for failing to provide any significant information on violations against children in Ukraine, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

Human Rights Watch’s Jo Becker also criticized the secretary-general for failing to include any perpetrators in the armed conflicts in the three countries on the U.N. blacklist of those committing grave violations against children. The Watchlist’s director, Adrianne Lapar, said Guterres squandered “an opportunity to shed light on abuses and hold parties accountable.”

Both organizations also strongly criticized the U.N. chief for omitting Israel from the “list of shame” for the deaths of 78 Palestinian children and injuries to 982 in 2021.

In the report, Guterres said that if the high numbers of violations by Israel in 2021 are repeated in 2022, it should be added to the list. He also said if a significant increase in the number of cases of violence against Israeli children last year is repeated this year that alestinian armed groups including Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades should be listed.

Becker called the failure to list Israel “another missed opportunity for accountability,” saying “other armed forces or groups have been listed for far fewer violations.” Lapar said “year after year Israeli government forces have gotten away with committing serious crimes against children, with virtual impunity” and “the secretary-general needs to hold the Israeli government to the same standard as any other warring party.”

The U.N. sanctions blacklist in the report’s annex adds some new armed groups, including the dissident Colombian group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army for recruiting and using children and Burkina Faso’s militant group Jama Nusrat Ul-Islam wa Al-Muslimin for grave violations.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this photo released by the Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau, police officers from the Taiwan...
Associated Press

Taiwan seeks to free citizens lured to Cambodia by scammers

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Taiwan is seeking to free more than 300 of its citizens who were lured to Cambodia by crime groups promising high wages for tech jobs, but then were forced to work in call centers scamming mainland Chinese into making payments for non-existent government fees or investment opportunities. Taiwan’s government on […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Nicaraguan police arrest bishop, other priests in raid

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nicaraguan police on Friday raided the residence of a Roman Catholic bishop, apparently detaining him and several other people holed up inside for two weeks after police set up a cordon. The pre-dawn raid came as Nicaraguan authorities had earlier accused Matagalpa Diocese Bishop Rolando Álvarez – an outspoken critic of […]
1 day ago
This photo shows a Spotted Lanternfly, in Long Branch, NJ, Aug. 7, 2022. Kill-on-sight requests in ...
Associated Press

See it? Squish it! Fighting the invasive spotted lanternfly

When Stephen Nixon recently noticed a “beautiful” spotted lanternfly by his bag as he skateboarded in Brooklyn, he heeded the request of city officials. He stomped on it. “I don’t like killing things. Not many people do. I’ll catch and release cockroaches if I find them in my apartment,” Nixon said. “But this seems like […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Germany’s Scholz faces grilling over role in tax scam

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due to appear Friday before a parliamentary panel in the northern state of Hamburg to answer lawmakers’ questions regarding what he knew about a tax evasion scam when he was mayor of the city. Political opponents have called on Scholz to provide more information about meetings he […]
1 day ago
FILE — King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, centre, stands flanked by fellow warriors in traditional dres...
Associated Press

South Africa’s Zulu nation to host celebration for new king

KWANONGOMA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa’s ethnic Zulu nation is preparing to host a coronation event for its new traditional king amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart. King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, a son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini who died in March last year, will on Saturday […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Poland nabs octogenarian with 5 kilos of heroin in suitcase

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A 81-year-old Danish woman traveling from Africa to Canada was arrested at Warsaw airport on suspicion of illegal possession of heroin worth over $515,000, officials in Poland said Friday. Customs officers at Frederic Chopin airport decided to check the woman’s luggage Sunday as she was transiting after becoming suspicious of her […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
UN to monitor Ukraine war for violations against children