[From the web] Progress in the Philippines, but recent clashes in Mindanao highlight challenges for the peace process -UNICEF

Progress in the Philippines, but recent clashes in Mindanao highlight challenges for the peace process

NEW YORK, 25 October 2013 – Today, Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, presented the third report of the Secretary-General on the situation of children and armed conflict in the Philippines.

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This report, presented to the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict, highlights progress to protect children affected by conflict in the Philippines, but also notes that between December 2009 and November 2012, children have continued to experience grave child rights violations in the conflicts in Mindanao and other remote areas.

“The Government of the Philippines is taking considerable steps, together with the UN, to address child protection concerns,” said Leila Zerrougui during her presentation.

The Government is about to adopt legislation specifically designed to protect children affected by armed conflict. In addition, the country’s armed forces are finalizing military guidelines to prevent military use of schools as well as a comprehensive strategy to better protect children in the conduct of military operations.

The Special Representative also noted concerns that remain to be addressed. For example, children arrested during military operations are not always treated primarily as victims and protected from public exposure. Also, stronger oversight of the Government auxiliary forces is required to avoid inadvertent association of children.

Read full article @www.unicef.org

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