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UN Secretary-General's Report on Children in Armed Conflict

[18 July 2022] – In July 2022, the UN released the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict. The report includes trends regarding the impact of armed conflict on children in 2021. Conflicts on the agenda of the Security Council and covered by the report include: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Israel and the State of Palestine, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen. 

According to the report the highest number of grave violations were verified in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
In relation to Palestinian children held in Israeli detention, the UN verified the detention of 637 children held for alleged security offences. Among those children, 85 per cent reported ill-treatment and breaches of due process by Israeli forces while in detention, with 75 per cent reporting having experienced physical violence. 
This year’s report again omits to mention that the majority of Palestinian child detainees are transferred out of the West Bank and detained in prisons located inside Israel[1] in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.[2] Although classified as a war crime, the Secretary-General's report has omitted to mention the forcible transfer of Palestinian children since 2014. No explanation has been provided for this omission although the evidence of transfer is uncontested.



[1] According to the Israeli Prison Service, 64 per cent of Palestinian child detainees were forcibly transferred out of the West Bank to prisons located inside Israel in 2021.
[2] Transferring "protected persons" including detainees out of occupied territory is prohibited by Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and is classified as a war crime under Article 8(2)(vii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.