Foreign Affairs | International Children And Armed Conflict
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which, at international level, he continues to highlight the degree to which child soldiers, if any, continue to be used in combat, their respective locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The recruitment of child soldiers remains a serious problem with tens of thousands of children recruited into conflicts around the world.
During Ireland’s term on the UN Security Council, we consistently engaged on Children And Armed Conflict (CAAC), including as an active member of the UN Security Council Working Group on CAAC and through a number of resolutions. Ireland participated in the UN Security Council Open Debate on 19th July 2022 and expressed dismay at the high numbers of children killed and maimed globally last year, notably in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, as well as during the escalation of violence in May 2021 in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. We also co-sponsored biennial resolutions on the Rights of the Child at the 49th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2022 and at the 76th UN General Assembly Third Committee in 2021.
Ireland is also an active member of the Group of Friends of CAAC as well as the Group of Friends of the Reintegration of Child Soldiers. Ireland continues to combat the use of child soldiers through our development programme, with a focus on addressing the socio-economic causes that contribute to this situation, through providing access to education, skills and livelihood opportunities. Ireland is also a signatory to the Safe Schools Declaration which outlines a set of commitments designed to strengthen the protection of education from attack, restrict the use of schools and universities for military purposes and ensure the continuity of education in armed conflict zones.
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