United Nations, June 29 (PTI) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has removed India from his annual report on the impact of armed conflict on children, citing “measures taken by the government to better protect children”.
In his report last year, Guterres said he welcomed the Indian government’s engagement with its special representative, noting that this could lead to a less worrisome situation in India.
In his 2023 report on children and armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General said that “India has been removed from the 2023 report in light of the steps taken by the government to better protect children.”
Guterres highlighted the technical mandate of his Special Representative’s Office to identify areas of child protection cooperation in July 2022, as well as the strengthening of child protection workshops organized by the government in Jammu and Kashmir last November, with the participation of the United Nations.
In his latest report, he also called on India to implement the remaining measures identified in consultation with his special representative and the United Nations.
These include training armed and security forces on child protection, prohibiting the use of lethal and non-lethal force against children, including stopping the use of pellet guns, and ensuring that children are detained as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, Guterres said. time.
He also highlighted measures to prevent all forms of abuse in detention and to fully implement the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act.
“We have been working very closely with India” over the past two years, Virginia Gamba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, said during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday.
“India decided to start prevention,” she said, adding that the country said it was ready to start engaging to see if it could take steps that could last for a while and allow it to be removed from the report. .
In his report last year, Guterres said he was concerned about “the increase in verified child abuse in Jammu and Kashmir” and called on the Indian government to step up child protection.
The UN Secretary-General welcomed the legal and administrative framework for child protection, the improvement of child protection services in Chhattisgarh, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir and the establishment of Welcoming the progress made by the Mumbai and Kashmir Child Protection Commission. right.
New Delhi expressed concern about situations included in the 2022 report as “situations other than armed conflict” or threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Globally, children will continue to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict in 2022, with an increase in the number of children verified to be affected by grave violations compared to 2021, Guterres said in his annual report on children and armed conflict, released on Tuesday. .
The United Nations verified 27,180 serious violations, of which 24,300 occurred in 2022 and 2,880 occurred earlier, but only in 2022. The violations affected 18,890 children (13,469 boys, 4,638 girls, 783 gender unknown) in 24 settings and a regional monitoring arrangement, it said.
The largest number of violations was the killing (2,985) and maiming (5,655) of 8,631 children, followed by the recruitment and use of 7,622 children and the abduction of 3,985 children. In the report, Guterres said children were detained for actual or suspected association with armed groups (2,496), including those designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations, or for national security reasons.
The United Nations verified that 909 children (732 boys, 177 girls) were killed (253) and maimed (656) by unidentified perpetrators (694), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Khorasan (ISIL- KP) (112), Taliban (98) and cross-border shelling from Pakistan (5).
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