International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers (February 12, 2017)
As we mark the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, on February 12, France reiterates its determination to protect children in armed conflicts.
We call for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocol relating to children in armed conflicts. 230 million children live in countries or areas experiencing armed conflict, and 15 million of them are directly affected by the fighting.
France is committed to this issue within the UN, where the Security Council has adopted six resolutions since 1999 to protect children in armed conflicts, as well as on the ground, notably with financial support to UNICEF to demobilize child soldiers in the Central African Republic.
Together with UNICEF, France initiated the 2007 Paris conference that adopted the principles and commitments “to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups,” to which 105 nations have already signed on. To continue this international mobilization, on February 21, France and UNICEF are hosting the “Protect Children from War” Conference in Paris, at the ministerial level, to be attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Leila Zerrougui and Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake.