EU Press Release : Children and armed conflicts (12 August 2005)
It is a European Union human rights priority to promote and protect the rights of the child, ending the use of children in armies and armed groups and to end impunity. EU guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict were adopted in 2003 and Plan’s of Action for several countries, including Nepal, were adopted last year.
Since the war started in Nepal it is estimated that over 400 children have been killed and over 20,000 displaced. Many of these displaced and orphaned children become victims of trafficking and child labour.
The EU strongly condemns the CPN(M)’s systematic and continued human rights violations especially in respect to the use of child soldiers which runs contrary to their claims that they respect human rights and adhere to the standards of the Geneva Conventions. Violation of the rights of the children, evident in the Maoist abuse of schools, indoctrination and abduction of young people and the induction into military forces, are particularly abhorrent.
The EU Troika also called on the Foreign Ministry today to raise concerns about how the ongoing armed conflict is affecting children in Nepal. It asked the government for clarification on policies and resources with respect to children and armed conflict, especially with regard to complying with international Conventions on the Rights of the Child, making sure children affected by conflict are properly rehabilitated and ensuring their safety at schools.
12 August 2005
British Embassy, Kathmandu
Note : The EU Troika is made up of representatives from the EU Presidency (United Kingdom), the next Member State to hold the Presidency (Finland, on behalf of the Austrians) and the European Commission.