Appendix D: UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) Field Manual

The descriptions below are from the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) Field Manual,Endnote 177 and are provided in order to facilitate peacekeepers’ understanding of the six grave violations against children within the context of MRM.

For MRM purposes, grave violations committed against children should align with the following descriptions:

  1. Context: The acts must be committed in the context of and be associated with an armed conflict.
  2. Victim: A child or children (e.g., persons under 18 years of age).
  3. Perpetrator: Members of state armed forces or non-state armed groups (the MRM does not focusactivities on civilians, although international practice shows that civilians may also be responsible for war crimes).
  4. Violation: Meaning for MRM purposes and types of incidents to report.
Grave violations descriptions
Six Grave Violations Against Children During Armed Conflict Meaning for MRM Purposes and Types of Incidents to Report

  1. Killing and maiming of children

Killing is any action in the context of the armed conflict that results in the death of one or more children.

Maiming is any action that causes a serious, permanent, disabling injury, scarring, or mutilation to a child.

Killing or injuring of children as a result of either direct targeting or indirect actions, including crossfire, landmines, cluster munitions, improvised explosive devices or other indiscriminate explosive devices.

Killing or injuring can take place in the context of military operations, house demolitions, search-and-arrest campaigns, or suicide attacks.

Torture can also be reported under this category.

  1. Recruitment or use of children as soldiers

Recruitment refers to compulsory, forced, or voluntary conscription or enlistment of children into any kind of armed force or armed group under the age stipulated in the international treaties applicable to the armed force or armed group in question.

Use of children refers to the use of children by armed forces or armed groups in any capacity, including – but not limited to – children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, messengers, spies, and collaborators. It does not only refer to a child who is taking or has taken a direct part in hostilities.

  1. Sexual violence against children

A violent act of a sexual nature to a child. This encompasses rape, other sexual violence, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced marriage/pregnancy, or enforced sterilization.

Rape/attempted rape is an act of non-consensual sexual intercourse. This can include the invasion of any part of the body with a sexual organ and/or the invasion of the genital or anal opening with any object or body part. Any penetration is considered rape. Efforts to rape someone, which do not result in penetration, are considered attempted rape.

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or acts to traffic a child’s sexuality. Sexual violence takes many forms, including rape, sexual slavery and/or trafficking, forced pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and/or abuse, and forced abortion.

  1. Attacks against schools or hospitals

Attacks include the targeting of schools or medical facilities that cause the total or partial destruction of such facilities. Other interferences to the normal operation of the facility may also be reported, such as the occupation, shelling, targeting for propaganda of, or otherwise causing harm to schools, medical facilities, or their personnel.

A school denotes a recognizable education facility or learning site. Education facilities and learning sites must be recognized and known by the community as a learning space and marked by visible boundaries.

Medical facilities are places where the sick and wounded are collected and/or provided with health-care services.

  1. Abduction of children

Abduction refers to the unlawful removal, seizure, capture, apprehension, taking, or enforced disappearance of a child either temporarily or permanently for the purpose of any form of exploitation of the child. This includes, but is not limited to, recruitment in armed forces or armed groups, participation in hostilities, sexual exploitation or abuse, forced labour, hostage-taking, and/or indoctrination. If a child is forcefully recruited by an armed force or armed group, this is considered two separate violations: (1) abduction of children, and (2) recruitment or use of children as soldiers.

  1. Denial of humanitarian access for children

Denial of humanitarian access for children refers to the intentional deprivation of, or impediment to, the passage of humanitarian assistance indispensable to children’s survival by the parties to the conflict. In situations of armed conflict, this includes wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions, and significant impediments to the ability of humanitarian or other relevant actors to access and assist affected children.

The denial should be considered in terms of a child’s access to assistance as well as the ability of humanitarian agencies to access vulnerable populations, including children.

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