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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 86 / 125





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A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

needs of the girl child throughout armed conflicts and their aftermath, including in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.’(Article 10)

2000: UNSCR 1314 calls for gender mainstreaming projects related to children and armed conflict

in all policies, programmes and

2001: UNSCR 1379 urges child protection (including protection from gender-based

and sexual violence) be included in all UN peace-keeping missions

2004: UNSCR 1539 demands the inclusion of children, and especially girls, into every disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process, including provision of

education and training to prevent re-recruitment

2005: UNSCR 1612 calls for the establishment of a monitoring and reporting mechanism to review progress in halting the conscription of child soldiers, to monitor children’s rights abuses, and to coordinate the international community’s effort to stop the recruitment and conscription of child soldiers

A number of other international instruments, not specifically focused on children and youth, are also relevant and have served as key advocacy tools. These include:

  • UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security, which enjoins the international community to ensure the protection of women and girls in violent conflict and their participation in peace-building and social reconstruction

  • the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (1986), which affirms the application to Africa of the international human rights instruments adopted by the United Nations

  • the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, drawn up in 2003, commits states to protecting civilians, including women, in the event of armed conflict, ensuring that perpetrators of rape as a war crime are brought to justice, and ensuring that no child, especially girls under 18 years of age, take a direct part in hostilities and that no child is recruited as a soldier.

Gaps between policy and action

The insistence in international policy on the rights and protection of children, youth and women in wartime is clear. Yet it is equally clear from the research undertaken in this project that in reality the rights of children and young people are being ignored and abused with impunity. Chapter three in part two of this volume discusses this phenomenon from the point of view of specific areas of rights


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