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Too soon for twilight, too late for dawn: the story of children caught in conflict - includes related articles on the UN General Assembly's stand on child-related issues, participation of children as soldiers, and recommendations for the protection of children during armed conflict - Cover story.
UN Chronicle. 1996 Winter; 33(4): p..In the last decade more than 2 million children have been killed, more than 4 million have survived physical mutilation and more than 1 million have been orphaned or separated from their families. All as a result of war. Joy unblemished as they play outside school, tumbling through the grass with friends, running under a gushing stream of water on a hot evening or down hills stung by snow. Laughter and love. These are the memories of the more innocent times evoked in the minds of many of us as we reminisce about our own childhoods. Where we had time to grow up and only slowly learn the darker ways of the world. But such memories are unimaginably distant from the reality that millions of children, caught up in the deadly games of adults, must confront. Instead, for the increasing numbers of children living in war-torn nations, childhood has become a living nightmare. A just-released United Nations study on the impact of armed conflict on children paints a truly devastating picture of untold suffering and cruelty, of a world increasingly "being sucked into a desolate moral vacuum. This is a space devoid of the most basic human values; a space in which children are slaughtered, raped and maimed; a space in which children are exploited as soldiers; a space in which children are starved and exposed to extreme brutality." The report was the outcome of a two-year investigation that included field visits to battle-scarred areas, dramatic case studies, input from eminent personalities and experts, and consultations with Governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), armed opposition movements and children themselves. (excerpt)
Fuera del Closet. 1996 Sep; (10):4-5.The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (a human being under the age of 18) declared the right of children to health and protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This was reiterated by the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. The Declaration of the Conference on Human Rights urged the governments to step up their efforts to protect and promote the human rights of women and children. It called for the elimination of gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation. (excerpt)
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the World Congress on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Stockholm 1996.
In: Forced labor: the prostitution of children, edited by Maureen Jaffee and Sonia Rosen. Washington, D.C., Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 1996. 77-80.To date, 179 countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, which consists of 10 experts who monitor compliance with the convention, is very active and attempts to work in non-traditional ways. For example, 9 of the 10 committee members will be traveling to South Asia for a 2-week field visit facilitated by UNICEF. Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka will be visited. These trips will allow the committee to get on-site information and develop contacts and dialogue with governments, nongovernmental organizations, and other bodies, in addition to the routine process of reporting established under the convention. The Internal Labor Organization and key international nongovernmental organizations will be present at one consultation with the committee in Nepal. UNICEF is increasingly using the convention and the process of reporting the work of the committee as a basis for its country programming. UNICEF is also increasingly getting involved in child protection issues, and the convention offers new ways to address these problems with governments and other partners. UNICEF's role in the World Congress on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is discussed.
In: Forced labor: the prostitution of children, edited by Maureen Jaffee and Sonia Rosen. Washington, D.C., Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 1996. 53-62.Millions of children are being forced to work as prostitutes. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has made a commitment that child prostitution cannot be tolerated, and all efforts must be made to end the practice. That commitment is reflected in ILO Convention 29 on forced labor, adopted in 1930. The convention aims to suppress the use of all forms of forced labor, and states that the illegal exaction of forced or compulsory labor will be punishable as a penal offence. The ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations first specifically addressed the issue of child prostitution in the context of forced labor in its 1985 report. Furthermore, in its 1992 report to the International Labor Conference, the Committee of Experts identified the use of children as one of the worst forms of forced labor, whether in prostitution or pornography. Convention 29 is linked to a number of other international standards. The International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) experience with child prostitution in Thailand, Philippines, and Nepal is described.
UN CHRONICLE. 1996; 33(2):61-3.Meeting for 6 weeks, the 53-member UN Commission on Human Rights adopted more than 83 resolutions and 14 decisions, the majority by consensus. Among its measures, the commission called for the creation of an open-ended working group to develop policy guidelines for economic structural adjustment programs and their effects upon economic, social, and cultural rights; and the holding of a seminar of experts to develop guidelines on the subject of forced evictions. This report offers a round-up of action with regard to children's rights and abuse, gender issues, the right of people to development, country situations, hostages, indigenous and minority issues, and follow-up to the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights. Children are being sold for prostitution, pornography, and adoption at an increasing rate worldwide. The commission has therefore called upon governments to take legislative, social, and educational measures to ensure the protection of children from exploitation. Deeply concerned by the persistence of such violations, the commission recommended that states adopt measures to eliminate the existing market for such practices, and asked the group drafting a related optional protocol to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child to continue its work. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will provide substantive support to the World Congress against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, to be held in Stockholm in August.