Skip to main content

Syrian Democratic Forces Sign Action Plan to End and Prevent the Recruitment and Use of Children [EN/AR]

Countries
Syria
Sources
OSRSG Children and Armed Conflict
Publication date
Origin
View original

Arabic version

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) signed an Action Plan with the United Nations to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children under the age of 18.

The Force Commander of the SDF, General Mazloum Abdi, signed on behalf of the SDF and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, signed on behalf of the United Nations during an official ceremony at the Palais des Nations on June 29th, 2019.

Through this Action Plan, the SDF commits to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children, to identify and separate boys and girls currently within its ranks and to put in place preventative, protection and disciplinary measures related to child recruitment and use. The Action Plan follows the listing of the People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) for the recruitment and use of children in the Secretary-General’s annual report on Children and Armed Conflict; the YPG/YPJ operates under the command of the SDF.

The Special Representative welcomes the SDF’s commitment.

“It is an important day for the protection of children in Syria and it marks the beginning of a process as it demonstrates a significant commitment by the SDF to ensure that no child is recruited and used by any entity operating under its umbrella,” said Special Representative Gamba.

The signature of the Action Plan is the result of months of engagement between the United Nations and the Syrian Democratic Forces, in close consultation with the Special Representative.

Special Representative Gamba commended the work of child protection partners on the ground, noting that the context in Syria remains one of the direst amongst the countries on her agenda with appalling consequences for children.

The Special Representative highlighted the importance of Actions Plans to engage with parties to conflict, a strong tool of the CAAC mandate since 2003, per Security Council Resolution 1460.

“Actions Plans represent an opportunity for parties to change their attitude and behavior so that grave violations against children stop and are prevented to durably improve the protection of children affected by armed conflict. I urge all parties listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General annual report, in Syria and elsewhere, to seize the opportunity to engage with the UN and adopt Action Plans,” SRSG Gamba added.

As the conflict is continuing in its ninth year, the SRSG urged all parties to work towards a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) to bring sustainable peace to the country, as this remains the best option to prevent grave violations against children.

Note to editors

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict gathers information and reports on how and where children are affected by armed conflict. Parties who commit grave violations against children in any of the 20 conflict situations on her agenda are added to the annexes of the Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict.

The six grave violations against children are: the recruitment and use of children; the killing and maiming of children; rape and other forms of sexual violence; abduction of children; attack on schools and hospitals; and the denial of humanitarian access.

The People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) has been listed in the Annexes of the Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and armed conflict for the recruitment and use of children since 2014.

The People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) operates under the effective command and control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

An Action Plan is a written commitment between the United Nations and a party to conflict listed in the Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict for one or more grave violations committed against children (A/72/865–S/2018/465). Each Action Plan outlines concrete, time-bound steps, in line with international law, aimed at improving the protection of children.

Listed parties in the Syrian Arab Republic in the latest Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict:

State actors:

  • Government forces, including the National Defence Forces and pro-government militias (Recruitment and use; Killing and maiming; Rape and other forms of sexual violence; Attacks on schools and hospitals)

Non-State actors:

  • Ahrar al-Sham (Recruitment and use; Killing and maiming)
  • Groups self-affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (Recruitment and use)
  • Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Recruitment and use; Killing and maiming; Rape and other forms of sexual violence; Attacks on schools and hospitals; Abductions)
  • Jaysh al- Islam (Recruitment and use)
  • Nusrah Front-led Hay’ at Tahrir al-Sham (Recruitment and use; Killing and maiming)
  • People’s Protection Units (Recruitment and use)

###

For more information, please contact:

Fabienne Vinet, Communications Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict: vinet@un.org +1-917-288-5791