THE UN security council voted unanimously on Thursday to name and shame governments and armed groups which abduct children in armed conflicts.
A resolution adopted by the council expressed grave concern at the abduction of children during wars, saying that it often precedes or follows other abuses against them ranging from their use as child soldiers to rape and killing.
The council took a first major step to prevent the victimisation of young people in war zones in 2005.
At that time it approved a resolution to identify governments and armed groups recruiting child soldiers.
In 2009 the council voted to name and shame the countries and insurgent groups engaged in conflicts that led to children being killed, maimed and raped. The new resolution adds the abduction of children in conflict as another reason for countries or groups to be added to the list of violators.
“By adding abductions as the fifth ‘trigger’ violation, the council makes it possible for responsible parties to be held to account,” said Eva Smets from Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, a network of international human rights and humanitarian organisations.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon told the security council that “abduction is now being used as a tactic to terrorise or target particular ethnic groups or religious communities and children have been becoming a particular focus.”
While groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army have been kidnapping children across eastern Africa for many years, he said “the scale and nature of this grave violation is changing.”