On August 2, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “Children and Armed Conflict.”
In its statement, the Holy See echoed the Report of the UN Secretary General detailing the growing scale and severity of human rights violations against children in armed conflict: children used as soldiers, suicide bombers, sex slaves and disposable intelligence gatherers. Schools and hospitals have been attacked as a strategy of war. The Holy See has partnered with the UN to oppose the use of children as combatants, denounce other forms of violence against children in armed conflict and to care for child victims. Such violence against children, it said, must awaken consciences and lead to a change of heart. The solution to the plight of children caught in armed conflict will involve, it added, finding ways to reintegrate child victims back into their own communities, including overcoming prejudices against children born of rape in conflict and against women and girl rape victims. The Holy See called on the Security Council to implement stronger measures for the protection of children in armed conflict and to ensure that UN peacekeepers strictly adhere to all laws and measures meant to protect children.
The statement, delivered in Arabic by the Chargé d’Affaires of the Mission, Msgr. Simon Kassas, can be found here.