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Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, November 2008

Published November 2008

"The present report, which has been prepared pursuant to Security Council
resolution 1612 (2005), is presented to the Council and its Working Group on
Children and Armed Conflict as the first country report on the situation of children
and armed conflict in Afghanistan. The report covers the period from 1 July 2007 to
15 August 2008.

The report focuses on grave violations perpetrated against children in
Afghanistan and identifies parties to the conflict, both State and non-State actors,
who commit grave abuses against children. In particular, the report highlights the
fact that children have been recruited and utilized by State and non-State armed
groups and that non-State armed groups such as the Taliban continue to train and use
children as suicide bombers. The report sheds light on the detention of children
accused of association with armed groups by the Government of Afghanistan, and
international military forces in violation of Afghan law and international best
practice. The report also discusses the worrisome increase in the number of children
victims of attacks against schools and communities by non-State armed groups,
including the ever increasing number of children inadvertently killed during
engagements by international and Afghan forces. Finally, the report surveys the need
for greater attention to the problem of sexual violence against children, in particular
against boys, in the context of the ongoing armed conflict in Afghanistan.

The report acknowledges the significant challenges in addressing child rights
violations in Afghanistan and outlines a series of recommendations to end the
recruitment and use of children as well as other grave violations of childrenís rights.
It recommends that all parties to the conflict facilitate access to their areas of
operation and ensure the safety of staff for monitoring and reporting purposes. It asks
the United Nations, in consultation with the Government of Afghanistan and
international forces, to investigate ways and means of extending monitoring and
reporting to hitherto inaccessible conflict areas of Afghanistan."

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