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India dropped from UNSC report on Children and Armed Conflict due to sustained efforts of Modi govt, list clubbed India with Pakistan, Burkina Faso & others

In the recently released 2023 report, the UNSC Secretary General confirmed that the Indian government and the women and child development ministry have implemented all the required measures for protection of children

India has been dropped from the list of Children and Armed Conflict report of the Secretary Generally of the United Nations Security Council. Marking the success of the sustained efforts of the government of India, most notably by Union Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani, the report issued on 5th June declared that India has been dropped from the list.

The Children and armed conflict report is prepared by the UNSC Secretary General that details the impact of armed conflict on children in various countries, mostly in war-torn and conflict-hit regions. The report includes a list of parties engaging in violations against children, including the recruitment and use of children, the killing and maiming of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against children, attacks on schools, hospitals and protected persons in relation to schools and/or hospitals, and the abduction of children.

Since 2010, India was also part of this list, which included other countries such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Lake Chad basin, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines. India was included for the alleged recruitment and use of boys by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, detainment of boys by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir for their alleged association with armed groups, children allegedly killed or injured by security forces, terrorists and others.

However, the government of India was continuously making efforts to get India excluded from what the ministry called an ‘ignoble list’. The ongoing engagement of the Government of India with the Special Representative of the UNSC Secretary General sped up after an inter-ministerial meeting was held in November 2021 with MWCD Secretary Indevar Pandey, representatives of the Ministry of External Affairs, Permanent Mission of India at New York, and the Home Ministry from the Government of India, along with Virginia Gamba, Special representative of the Secretary-General for Children and the UN officials in New Delhi.

It led to an agreement to appoint a national focal point to identify priority national interventions to enhance protection of children, joint technical mission to hold inter-ministerial, technical-level meetings with the UN to identify areas of enhanced cooperation for child protection. Under the guidance and leadership of Union Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani, a road map for cooperation and collaboration on child protection issues was developed by the Ministry. 

The technical team of the office of the Special Representative of the UNSC Secretary General visited India on 27-29 July 2022. After that, a workshop on strengthening child protection was held in Jammu & Kashmir in November 2022 by the ministry in collaboration with the home ministry, J&K govt, with the participation of United Nations officials.

In a press note, the ministry said that all statutory service delivery structures like the Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Boards under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 have been established.

In view of the measures taken by the Government to better protect children, India has been removed from the report in 2023, the ministry said.

In the 2022 report, the UNSC Secretary General had welcomed the ongoing engagement of the Government with his Special Representative, including the inter-ministerial meeting held in November 2021 and the appointment of a national focal point to identify priority national interventions so as to enhance the protection of children. The report had further welcomed the agreement to a joint technical mission to hold inter-ministerial, technical-level meetings with the United Nations during 2022 to identify areas of enhanced cooperation for child protection.

“This enhanced engagement may lead to the removal of India as a situation of concern from my next report on children and armed conflict, should all practical measures agreed to in such meetings be fully implemented,” the report had expresses hope.

Now, in the recently released 2023 report, the UNSC Secretary General confirmed that the Indian government and the women and child development ministry have implemented all the required measures for protection of children. “In view of the measures taken by the Government to better protect children, India has been removed from the report in 2023,” the report states.

However, the report urged India to implement the remaining measures identified in consultations with the UNSC office, including the training of armed and security forces on child protection, the prohibition of the use of lethal and non-lethal force on children, including by ending the use of pellet guns, ensuring that children are detained as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, and to prevent all forms of ill-treatment in detention, and the full implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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