In a supposed show of unity by the world powers against Islamic State - the United Nations Security Council is reportedly preparing to adopt a legally binding resolution intended to choke the terrorist group's ability to trade in oil, antiquities and hostages.
As it pontificates on the terms of the Resolution – the Security Council completely ignores the Report of another United Nations organ – The Committee on the Rights of the Child - released on 4 February – which depressingly confirms the following litany of suffering visited on children, women and minorities in Iraq by Islamic State:
- The systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive;
- The very large number of children killed and severely injured as a result of the current fighting - including by air strikes, shelling and military operations by the Iraqi Security Forces
- Deaths from dehydration, starvation and heat in conflict affected areas
- The high number of children abducted by Islamic State - many of whom are severely traumatized from witnessing the murder of their parents and are subjected to physical and sexual assault.
- Markets" set up by Islamic State selling abducted children and women attaching price tags to them
- Sexual enslavement of children – particularly from minority groups - detained in makeshift Islamic State prisons - such as the former Badoush prison outside Mosul.
- The executions of teachers and health personnel
- Recruitment and use of children especially children in vulnerable situations such as refugee children, children with disabilities, children who have lost their parents and children in street situations being used as:
- Suicide bombers
- Human shields in order to protect Islamic State facilities from airstrikes and being frequently forced to witness brutal acts of torture and killing
- Informants - for manning checkpoints or as bomb makers for armed groups -in order to support their families
- Some recruited children being trained in kidnapping
- Children as young as 12 or 13 undergoing military training organized in Mosul by Islamic State which is reportedly also giving children the responsibility to guard and arrest individuals
- Children and families belonging to minority groups, in particular Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabean-Mandaean, Kaka'e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi'a, Assyrian, Baha'i, Alawites - who are being systematically killed, tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, cut off from humanitarian assistance by Islamic State in a reported attempt to suppress, permanently cleanse or expel, or in some instances, destroy these minority communities.
The Committee could only urge Iraq to take all necessary measures to rescue children under the control of Islamic State and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Islamic State fighters must be laughing their heads off at the thought.
Regrettably the Committee did not see fit to damn the Security Council for its continuing failure to authorise and institute military action by the world body against Islamic State under Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter.
Instead we now have the prospect of yet another proposed totally ineffectual Security Council resolution talking about oil, antiques and hostages – the third in a series of resolutions on Islamic State that are worthless in ending the barbaric atrocities listed above.
Russia's veto remains the obstacle to passing a Security Council Resolution authorising the use of military force.
Russiawas eventually persuaded to join America in sponsoring a Security Council Resolution calling for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
A similar diplomatic effort is needed to destroy Islamic State.
There are many diplomatic inducements and trade-offs that can be explored including:
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