India Removed from UN Report on Children and Armed Conflict

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The United Nations Secretary-General has removed India from a list of countries in a report on children and armed conflict, citing alleged recruitment and use of boys by armed groups in JK, as well as their detention, killing, and maiming by security forces.

This marks the first time since 2010 that India has not been included in the report, alongside countries like Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Lake Chad basin, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’ stated that India has been removed from the report in 2023 due to government measures taken to better protect children.

Officials from the Ministry of Women and Child Development credited the removal to various policies and institutional changes introduced since 2019.

A statement from the Ministry highlighted the development of a road map for cooperation and collaboration on child protection issues under the leadership of Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Women and Child Development.

Indevar Pandey, WCD Secretary, expressed India’s achievement in being removed from the list after 12 years, attributing the change to the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act and the establishment of child welfare infrastructure in JK.

The UN Secretary-General’s report acknowledged the engagement of the Government of India with the Special Representative and noted that India’s removal as a situation of concern was a result of measures taken to better protect children.

Pandey mentioned that many of the measures suggested by the UN have been implemented or are underway, including training of security forces, suspension of pellet gun use, and implementation of the JJ Act and POCSO Act.

The Ministry stated that ongoing engagement with the UN and the appointment of a national focal point led to the removal of India’s name from the list, with technical-level meetings and workshops held to enhance child protection.

The Ministry also highlighted the establishment of statutory service delivery structures under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, which contributed to India’s removal from the report in 2023.

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