ASIA: Protection of children from violence and armed conflicts require sincere and comprehensive actions by states

An Oral Statement to the 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Mr. President.

Governance guaranteeing liberal democracy, equal enjoyment of economic, social, cultural as well as civil and political rights ensuring fair access to the public and natural resources are deeply related to the persistent problems of armed conflicts in Asia. Prevailing state policies of discrimination of minorities, coupled with coercive law-enforcement, and incapable justice architecture –are the main reasons for triggering armed conflicts in the region. Facts suggest that arms producing non-Asian states take the advantage of the situation by doing business with Asian states. Production and sale of arms, particularly small arms, contribute largely to boost up the economy of several countries in the world. Guarantees in paper to restrict the reach of such arms to armed militia groups in Asia remains merely as parchment without any value.

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in the armed conflict. The stories of the children from the North Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir of India, or from Baluchistan of Pakistan, or the Terai plains of Nepal, or the Rohingya children from Myanmar are all the same. Children, being the most helpless, become the victims in these heartless actions that unleash violence against them and everyone around them.

Today, in Asia where armed conflicts exist, and where countless children have become direct victims of this conflict, no adequate and effective mechanisms exist to deal with the lifelong challenges children face from being victims to the conflict. The horrendous trauma that has scared the minds of the children of the Rohingya, or those having witnessed atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir, or who have lost their parents due to extrajudicial executions in the North Eastern states of India, Bangladesh, or in Baluchistan or in West Papua of Indonesia will have to live their life trying to come to terms with the trauma with practically no adequate assistance.

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), therefore, urges the states concerned and this Council to ensure that viable and sensible means to end armed conflicts in Asia are identified and implemented.

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Web TV Video Link: (Please scroll down on the list of speakers on the right hand side and click on clip number 11 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)

About Admin

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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