Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
In 2004, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Belgium stated: “In armed conflicts children have a right to special attention, in particular to prevent them from being exploited as soldiers. Special attention should be given to the different needs of boys and girls.”
In 2007, in a statement before the UN Security Council on threats to international peace and security, the permanent representative of Belgium stated:
… Belgium welcomes the increased attention that the Security Council is giving to the protection of civilians – particularly that of … children and other vulnerable groups – in armed conflict. The relevant resolutions aimed at the protection of civilians must be effectively implemented.
In 2007, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa, the deputy permanent representative of Belgium stated, with reference to Somalia: “While stressing the primary responsibility of the Transitional Federal Government [of Somalia], Belgium calls upon all parties immediately to ensure the protection of civilians, especially of children”.