UN envoy welcomes step on sanctions against violators of children in Somalia

Special Representative Radhika Coomaraswamy. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

2 August 2011 – The United Nations envoy advocating for the rights of children during armed conflicts today welcomed the Security Council’s decision to agree to apply sanctions against any individuals or entities that violate children’s rights.

“Starting today, in Somalia, if you kill, maim, recruit, use or sexually violate children, or if you attack their schools and hospitals, you can be sanctioned,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, in a statement.

“This is one step closer to ending impunity of the worst violators of children in war.”

Council members approved the tougher measures on Friday as part of a resolution extending and expanding the mandate of the eight-member UN Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia.

The sanctions that can apply to individuals or entities which violate the rights of children include arms embargoes, travel bans and asset freezes.

Ms. Coomaraswamy urged all partners working in child protection, including the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), “to redouble their efforts to gather reliable information on grave violations against children” so that they can help the Monitoring Group carry out its work.


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