Monday, 14 February 2011 13:07

AU, EU call for protection of children from effects of war

 

The African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) on Saturday jointly called for protection of children from the effects of war on the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, Xinhua informed.

Efforts should be made to prevent children from being forced to serve as combatants, sex slaves or servants, said the two regional blocs.
The AU and the EU welcome the progress made in all the endeavors to prevent the killing and maiming of children and rape and other sexual violence against children.

However, they remain deeply concerned about the situation of children affected by armed conflicts, which continue to deprive children in particular of access to education and health services and of a safe home and community.

"Growing up in conflict, children continue to face indescribable violence, to be recruited to fight, wounded or killed, separated from their families and emotionally as well as physically scarred for life," they said in a joint statement.

According to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from being recruited or directly participating in hostilities or internal strife. The Charter also calls upon States Parties to respect and ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts which affect the child.

The AU vows in the statement that it will continue the efforts to promote and protect the rights and welfare of all African children.

Source: Focus News Agency (Sofia, Bulgaria)

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