Qatar, US Call for Ending Children Abduction in Conflicts, Crisis

The State of Qatar and the U.S. called for an end to the abduction of children in conflict and crisis situations and stressed the need to exert all pressure to put an end to the widespread abduction of children in conflict and crisis areas.

This came in a message sent by HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, and HE Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the UN Ambassador Nicky Healy, to HE Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, on the occasion of the World Children’s Day, which falls on November 20 of every year.

The message, which was adopted by 101 countries, referred to the report of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which noted a 70 percent increase in child abductions during the past year. It also referred to the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict and the report of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

The abduction of children was one of the most serious of six serious violations against children, explaining that abduction could take more than one form and that children were subjected to brutal treatment by all parties to the conflict, the message said pointing that the abduction of girls usually leads to cross-border trafficking for sexual exploitation. The message further stressed that conflict and post-conflict times provide suitable environment and conditions for trafficking because of poverty caused by conflicts. The message also pointed to the social, health and economic effects after the escape or release of children.

The State of Qatar and the U.S. called upon the international community to treat abducted children as victims and to provide special care to those who were subject to psychological and physical trauma, torture and sexual abuse.

The two states also stressed that violence against children in conflict has a strong negative impact on the sustainable development programs as well as on social welfare. Qatar and the United States drew attention to the far-reaching effects of psychological and physical trauma and lack of education on children’s ability to play a constructive role in their societies and sustainable development.

In conclusion, the two countries called for all forms of protection for children, including safe release, family follow-up, provision of medical and legal assistance and facilitation of voluntary programs of social reform and rehabilitation. They also encouraged children’s supporters to do everything possible to protect children from gross violations.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs