UN Policy on Child Rights Violators Criticized

UN Policy on Child Rights Violators Criticized
UN Policy on Child Rights Violators Criticized

Iran's UN ambassador said political pressure on the world body is stopping it from taking measures against countries that violate children's rights. In an address to the UN Security Council's Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on Tuesday, Gholamali Khoshroo noted that 2016 was a "horrifying year" for children in countries engaged in armed conflicts, Press TV reported.

"At least 4,000 verified violations by government forces and more than 11,500 verified violations by the range of non-state armed groups have occurred in the relevant reporting period. They perpetrated acts of violence against children, launched indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations, targeted schools and health facilities, and detained children in large numbers," he said.

Iran's UN envoy further said Israel had never been blacklisted by the UN, despite its constant targeting of Palestinian children. "The 2016 report on this issue and other UN agencies documented that the numbers of Palestinian children in military detention reached the highest levels recorded since 2010, with 444 children [including 15 girls]. Live ammunition is frequently used by Israeli forces, leading to the killing of 30 Palestinian children this year," he said.

Khoshroo lamented that Saudi Arabia was included in the UN's blacklist last year for killing and maiming Yemeni children, but was later removed following Riyadh's threats and pressure.

"Last year, the Saudi-led coalition was first blacklisted, based on the UN findings indicating that it was directly responsible for 60% of child casualties, including the deaths of 785 children due to bombings of schools and hospitals," he said.

"But surprisingly, its name was finally removed from the list, again due to heavy pressures and lobbying. This year, we have noticed that the name of Saudi-led coalition is on the list, though as an improving child killer."

Last month, the UN blacklisted the Saudi coalition for killing and injuring hundreds of children in Yemen and attacking dozens of schools and hospitals, even as it claimed that the coalition had taken action to improve child protection. Khoshroo concluded that the UN's selective actions toward violators of children's rights undermine the credibility of international humanitarian law, and are an act of betrayal toward the world's most vulnerable citizens.


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