Speaking at the UNSC open debate on Children and Armed Conflict ‘Attacks against Schools as Grave Violation of Children’s Rights‘ on Thursday, India put forth that the terrorist outfits proscribed by the Council are directly or indirectly responsible for abusing child rights. India said, “Terror networks spread their tentacles across borders threatening peace and stability. Children are worst affected as they live with a looming sense of fear and uncertainty and are often deprived of their right to education.” Without mentioning Pakistan directly, India called the member states to come forward and take adequate actions against this.
A subtle hint to Pakistan
India clearly mentioned the “member states” to “demonstrate the greater political will to hold the perpetrators of terrorism and their collaborators and sponsors, especially those sanctioned by the Council, to account, to fulfill Council’s child protection obligations.” This was a subtle hint to Pakistan as the number of member states in the UN list of terrorists comprises greatly of Pakistani nationals. These include major terrorists like Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, who are responsible for a number of terror attacks in India.
Impact on children
With a notion to emphasize the lack of access to schools and treacherous learning environments, India said that these situations are facilitating the terrorists and other non-state participants to exploit the kids and shove them into terrorism. The schools act as a social safety net and provide a crucial place of learning for the children. In the absence of such a structure, the children face a multifold challenge to their protection. India also said, “Education facilities are often used as vehicles for radicalization and indoctrination to violent extremist ideologies. Much of these happen in the absence of opportunity for quality formal education for children.”
An urge to proactive measures
India believes that in order to advance the child protection agenda of the Council, it must take proactive measures to ensure that its synergy with counter-terrorism. India also underscored the importance of greater recognition of the threats these terrorist organizations pose to children in different parts of the world. Accordingly, a comprehensive action plan is also required to combat this influence. India’s statement, which will also be included as an official UN compilation, emphasizes that the UN Security Council has to factor in the reality that “non-state parties to armed conflicts have little regard for upholding their obligations under the international law.”
The Policy Times Suggestions
- The points mentioned by India make practical sense when it comes to analyzing the impact of terrorism on children.
- As the UN works for child rights, it is important for them to act on these issues and strive towards creating a better world for the children.
- There must be certain measures, laid out, that all the participant countries can take to avoid the spread of terrorism and the radicalization of children.