Over the last six months, Child Soldiers International has found worrying evidence of child rights violations by the Chadian army, and non-compliance with child protection commitments by the Chadian authorities. These include: inadequate provision of interim care to children formerly associated with the Séléka armed group, resulting in dozens of children absconding from a transit centre; the non-implementation of a protocol for the handover of children captured from armed groups, which had been signed with the UN; the alleged sexual abuse of children by Chadian troops operating in Central African Republic (CAR) in 2013 and the apparent failure of the Chadian authorities to investigate these allegations.
Chad is currently facing many security and humanitarian challenges due to its involvement in the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria (resulting in several attacks by the group on its territory, including in the capital N’Djamena), and its hosting of hundreds of thousands of refugees and returnees from Sudan, CAR and Nigeria. However, one year after its army was removed from a UN list of child rights violators for child recruitment and use, and given its increasing military role in the sub-region, Chad must continue to demonstrate its capacity and willingness to protect and promote the rights of all children affected by armed conflict.
Child Soldiers International recommends that the government of Chad continue to devote adequate capacity and resources to the comprehensive implementation of the 2011 Action Plan on children associated with armed forces and armed groups and its Roadmaps, and of the protocol on the handover of children signed with the UN in 2014. The government should also ensure that all children formerly associated with armed groups are provided with appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery, family reunification and social reintegration. In addition, Chad should immediately launch an independent investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse of displaced children in CAR involving three of its soldiers and cooperate fully with all UN investigations on the matter. Finally, the Chadian government should draft its long overdue initial report on its implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC).
Child Soldiers International also recommends the UN Secretary-General issue a public report detailing the Chadian government’s record on the protection of children in armed conflict since the delisting of its armed forces in July 2014. Such a report, as well as the government’s OPAC initial report, would provide a good opportunity to assess progress and address ongoing challenges in the protection of children from recruitment and from the impact of armed conflict.
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