Initiative to prevent child recruitment in Syrian conflict

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ARA News

Beirut, Lebanon – The opposition Movement of Syrian State-Building demanded all media, military and political parties, involved in the Syria crisis, to sign an honour charter to exclude the involvement of children from the ongoing conflict in Syria. 

The movement issued a statement inviting the various Syrian organizations to sign an agreement preventing involvement of children in the current war.

The agreement, of which ARA News received a copy, includes several points to be binding to the different parties involved in the crisis.

The agreement explicitly states, “Not to target areas where children may exist by any military operation, avoiding recruitment of underage children and not involving them in any fight or intelligence operations, not to involve children with any political action such as opponent or proponent rallies, electoral campaigns or any policy-related actions,” the agreement reads.

The agreement to be signed by the various parties also prohibits the media from exploiting any children-related issue and prevents using schools for military or political purposes.

The Movement of Syrian State-Building called on all parties to facilitate the education of children and to release the arrested ones unconditionally. It also prohibits the detention of children as hostages under any circumstances. 

The Center for Peace and Democracy in Damascus adopted all items mentioned in the movement’s honour charter.

Speaking to ARA News in this regard, civil activist Jihan Hamo said: “Militarizing and recruiting children by the different armed factions in Syria to participate in all types of military actions was repeatedly mentioned by many media and international legal reports; it is unfortunate.”

Hamo pointed out that such an initiative is very important.

“However, it needs implementation mechanisms, as most of the military forces do not recognize these principles nor care about childhood; they are literary war traders,” Hamo told ARA News

The most recent UNICEF report, issued in September 2014, confirmed that around 6.5 million Syrian children, inside and outside Syria, were affected by the three-year crisis.

 

Reporting by: Hussam al-Zeer

Source: ARA News  

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