FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Children's Rights Institute Calls on the U.N. Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to Add Hamas and Hezbollah to Its "List of Shame"
May 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm
May 17, 2011 – NEW YORK – On May 11, 2011, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict released its 10th Annual Report, which "gives an overview of the situation of children affected by conflict and action taken for their protection over the reporting period." The Report's "List of Shame" identifies and details parties that "recruit or use children, kill or maim children, and/or commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children in situations of armed conflict." According to SRSG Radhika Coomaraswamy, "2010 proved another tragic year for children in conflicts all over the world" and, while no parties were removed from the List of Shame, four were added.
Still, the U.N. has failed to include either Hamas or Hezbollah on the List of Shame, despite both parties' ongoing use of children as suicide bombers, child soldiers, and human shields. In fact, Hamas' television station (Hamas TV) and Hezbollah's Al Manar network air programs daily, using cartoons, music videos and characters such as Mickey Mouse, to teach innocent Muslim children to violently kill themselves as suicide-homicide bombers, child soldiers and to act as human shields. Moreover, Hezbollah's youth movement (the Imam Mahdi Scouts ) teaches tens of thousands of children military tactics and indoctrinates them towards hate and violence. The Scouts have reported approximately 42,000 Lebanese children between the ages of 8-16, to have undergone military training at summer camps and have actually boasted that more than 120 of these children died fighting with Hezbollah, including as suicide bombers.
The Children's Rights Institute therefore calls on the U.N. to add Hamas and Hezbollah to the List of Shame. Coomaraswamy has even acknowledged the importance of "naming and shaming parties" as a "catalyst for them to change their practices," adding that it has even "led to the framing of action plans for ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers." As long as the U.N. continues to ignore the recruitment of children towards violence committed by Hamas and Hezbollah, this most egregious form of state-sponsored mass infanticide will continue with impunity. Turning a blind eye to such premeditated murder perpetrated against innocent Muslim children operates only to send the green light to terrorist groups that they may continue abusing them.