The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), participated to the International Expert Consultations on Children’s Right to Protection from Armed Violence in the Community in Honduras on 6-7 July 2015.
The meeting organized by the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, in cooperation with UNICEF and the Government of Honduras, gathered representatives from Central American governments and the Philippines, UN agencies, regional organizations, research institutions and civil society, as well as children and young people.
The Consultations examined the multidimensional effects of armed violence in the community and its impacts on children and young people. While there are international frameworks protecting children in war and armed conflicts, there is a lack of analogous mechanisms to safeguard children in contexts of armed violence in non-conflict settings. Among the issues related identified by the participants were the increasing criminalization and stigmatization of young people, the reduction of the minimum age of criminal responsibility, the “firm hand” security policies and the lack of political will and budgetary plans for violence prevention.
UNLIREC presented armed violence reduction measures aiming at developing strategies to enhance children’s protection from armed and community-based violence.
The conclusions and recommendations of the Consultations will form part of the Special Representative’s Thematic Report on the Protection of Children from Armed Violence at the Community level, which will be presented to Member States in the upcoming UN General Assembly, and feed into the Post 2015 Global Development Agenda and the dialogue pushing for the elimination of all forms of violence against children.