A Credible List: Recommendations for the 2018 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict and Listings

Following pressure from civil society for a complete and accurate listing of perpetrators in 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres listed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces for Yemen and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) for Iraq, among other parties, in the annexes of his first annual report on children and armed conflict. In a change from previous years, the 2017 report segregated parties that have taken “positive measures to improve the protection of children”, but it remains unclear what constitutes such positive measures. The Secretary-General should publicly document what he considers to be such measures and carefully monitor any progress towards ending and preventing these violations.

Regardless of the implementation of so-called positive measures, parties who are listed on the basis of timely, accurate, and credible information on violations collected through the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) must enter into time-bound action plans with the UN to be removed from the annexes. The MRM is imperative for informing the work of the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict regarding country situations within its purview, as well as the Secretary-General’s decision-making process for the annual listing of perpetrators. 

The 2018 annual report is a key opportunity for the Secretary-General to ensure a credible, complete, and accurate listing of perpetrators and also a key moment to highlight the capacity concerns and the need to adequately invest in monitoring and reporting. He should advocate with Member States for the allocation of sufficient staff and budgetary resources for specialized child protection functions, including Child Protection Advisers in key political and peacekeeping missions.

Published 2019-01-04