AG/RES. 1709 (XXX-O/00)
5 June 2000
CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICTS
(Resolution adopted at the first plenary session, held on June 5, 2000)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
RECALLING its resolution AG/RES. 1667 (XXIX-O/99), in which it instructed the Inter-American Childrens Institute to deal systematically with the problem of the participation of children and adolescents in armed conflicts;
ALARMED by the recruitment of children and their participation and use in armed conflicts, and noting that more than 300,000 children under 18 years of age are currently participating in armed conflicts worldwide;
PROFOUNDLY CONCERNED that too often children are the intended or collateral victims of hostilities in the context of armed conflicts, suffering long-term physical, emotional, and psychological trauma;
RECOGNIZING that in such situations, children are deprived, inter alia, of their right to due protection;
NOTING the recommendations contained in the Declaration/ adopted by the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on the Use of Children as Soldiers, held in Montevideo, on July 5-8, 1999;
WELCOMING WITH SATISFACTION recent international efforts to address the issue of the forced recruitment of children, including the adoption in 1998 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; the adoption in 1999 of Convention No. 182 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the prohibition of the worst forms of child labor, including the forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflicts; and the adoption in 2000 of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding the participation of children in armed conflicts;
RECALLING the provisions of international humanitarian law that protect children in situations of armed conflicts; and
Having considered the Annual Report of the Inter-American Childrens Institute/ and, in particular, the resolutions of its Directing Council in this area,
1. To urge the member states to consider signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding the participation of children in armed conflicts.
2. Also to urge the member states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify without delay ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labor.
3. To call upon all parties in armed conflicts, with due urgency, to respect the provisions of international humanitarian law that protect children.
4. To support the efforts of the countries concerned to demobilize child soldiers, and to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society children affected by armed conflicts.
5. To request the Inter-American Childrens Institute to continue to work actively in this area and to identify a body to assume responsibility for following up on this resolution.