The Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict visiting the DRC !

The Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict visiting the DRC !

A delegation of nine members of the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict, led by Her Excellency Ms. Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday 30th November for a five-day mission.

During its first day in Kinshasa, the delegation met with Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, and various government officials including Ms. Mabunda, Special Presidential Representative of the fight against sexual violence and the recruitment of children. The delegation also met with the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on the grave violations of the rights of the child. The delegation is currently in Goma to meet with field actors.

The Working Group’s mandate

The mandate of this working group is to examine the reports of abuses committed against children in armed conflict, to monitor progress in the development and implementation of national action plans to end them and to submit recommendations to the Security Council on steps that should be taken to promote the protection of children affected by conflict. The Working Group regularly visits countries to have a better understanding of the situation on the ground.

Its recent conclusions on DRC

On 18 September 2014, it issued conclusions through which it praised the efforts made in DRC, and expressed recommendations for:

– the fight against impunity of those who violate children’s rights;

– the inclusion of special needs of children affected by armed conflict and the protection of their rights in all disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs;

– the long term reintegration of children affected in a protective environment and without risk of stigmatization.

Mechanisms in place

The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on grave violations of the rights of the child  by security forces (MRM), is monitoring the situation of children affected by armed conflict. The DRC has signed an action plan to put an end to these grave violations. It also supports the campaign “children, not soldiers” to reach the goal of zero child into the national army in 2016.

UNICEF and its partners continue to respond to the needs of children affected by identifying cases, giving them assistance, making sure there are reunited with their families and benefit from social and economic reintegration.

The purpose of the visit

The purpose of this visit is to acknowledge the progress made, to understand the situation on the ground and to sharpen the formulation of recommendations to improve the work done by the Government of the DRC and all other actors, for a better protection of children affected by conflict in the DRC.

We are waiting for their impressions after their visit to Goma!

Photo : UNICEF DRC 2014 Ndiaga Seck

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Vanessa Wirth

Vanessa Wirth is a Child Protection Officer at UNICEF where she used to coordinate the Child Protection in Emergencies Working Group in DRC. She is currently in charge of the Birth Registration pillar. Specialized in Human Rights, she strongly believes that protecting children’s rights is the best approach to tackling their vulnerabilities and guaranteeing a smooth transition to adulthood. Her leitmotiv? Never stop dreaming.

Vanessa Wirth est Chargée de Protection de l’Enfant à l’UNICEF ou elle a coordonné le Groupe de Travail sur la Protection de l’Enfant en situation d’urgence en RDC. Elle est actuellement responsable du pilier Enregistrement des Naissances. Spécialisée en droits humains, elle croit fermement que la protection des droits des enfants est la meilleure approche pour atténuer leur vulnérabilité et garantir une transition en douceur vers l’âge adulte. Son credo : « N’arrête jamais de rêver ».

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