The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday backed the naming and shaming of governments and armed groups that recruit, kill or sexually attack children in armed conflicts over protests from Russia, China, Pakistan and Azerbaijan.
A resolution supporting the U.N. special representative for children and armed conflict and continuing annual reports by the Secretary-General identifying those countries and groups victimising youngsters was approved by a vote of 11-0 with abstentions by the four countries.
The dissenters accused the report’s supporters of trying to expand the naming and shaming list to all countries and not sticking to conflicts that the Security Council is dealing with, which is its mandate.
Pakistan also protested that the report includes situations that are not conflicts but acts by terrorists and criminals.
The Secretary-General’s latest report in June included Pakistani armed groups as well as Syrian government forces and their allied “shabiha” militias on a list of 52 governments and armed groups that recruit, kill or sexually attack children in armed conflicts. The list includes 32 “persistent perpetrators” that have been on the list for at least five years, including the security forces of seven countries.
The resolution calls on member states to bring those responsible for such violations to justice, either through national or international judicial systems.
The Security Council also reiterated its readiness to adopt “targeted and graduated measures” a code phrase for sanctions against persistent perpetrators.
In 2009, the council voted to also name and shame countries and insurgent groups engaged in conflicts that lead to children being killed, maimed and raped.