Updated: June 29, 2021 4:10:18 am
India on Monday voiced concern over the “dangerous and worrying” trend in global terrorism of an increase in the number of children being recruited for terror-related activities, particularly amid the pandemic-induced school closure, and called for ending impunity for all actors responsible for inciting and perpetrating grave violations against children.
“We are witnessing a dangerous and worrying trend in global terrorism and that is an increase in the number of children that are being recruited and involved in terrorism-related activities,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said at the Security Council open debate on Children and Armed Conflict on Monday. Shringla said terror groups take advantage of the fact that children are the most susceptible to manipulation. School closures due to the pandemic have provided a greater opportunity to these terrorist groups to target children, including through online avenues, for radicalisation and indoctrination in violent extremist ideologies, he said.
“We believe that there is a need for a more coordinated approach in implementing the child protection and counter terrorism agendas. States need to demonstrate greater political will to hold the perpetrators of terrorism and their sponsors to account, and to fulfil the Council’s child protection obligations,” he said.
Shringla called for ending impunity for all actors responsible for inciting and perpetrating grave violations against children. “There must be greater accountability and sincere efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice by governments from whose territory such entities operate.”
“It is, therefore, important that states keep child protection concerns at the core of their pandemic response measures and recovery plans,” he said.
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