More than 5,000 Children Released in 2017

The international commitment to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict has led to the release and reintegration of more than 5,000 children in 2017, according to the latest numbers compiled by the United Nations; but tens of thousands more remain.

Once released, these children still have to face the complex and long reintegration process into their communities, a decisive step for their wellbeing which also contributes to end the cycles of violence.
“Children can only be freed from armed groups and forces through a comprehensive reintegration process, including medical and psycho-social support, as well as educational programmes and trainings. Without a strong political and financial commitment to the reintegration process, re-recruitment is unfortunately likely to happen in many conflict situations,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, said.

Despite progress, boys and girls continue to be recruited, kidnapped, forced to fight or work for military groups or armed forces. The recruitment and use of children happened in all 20 country situations covered by the Children and Armed Conflict mandate. Sixty-one parties to conflict out of 63 are listed for this grave violation in the 2016 Annual Report of the Secretary-General, making it by far the most widely-spread violation.

Full article