The Girl Child and Armed Conflict: Recognizing and Addressing Grave Violations of Girls’ Human Rights


Mazurana, Dyan, and Khristopher Carlson. 2006. "The Girl Child and Armed Conflict: Recognizing and Addressing Grave Violations of Girls’ Human Rights." UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) Expert Group Meeting, Florence, September 25-28.

Authors: Dyan Mazurana, Khristopher Carlson


During armed conflict, girls are subject to widespread and, at times, systematic forms of human rights violations that have mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and material repercussions. These violations include illegal detention with or without family members, abduction and forced removal from families and homes, disappearances, torture and other inhuman treatment, amputation and mutilation, forced recruitment into fighting forces and groups, slavery, sexual exploitation, increased exposure to HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of physical and sexual violations, including rape, enforced pregnancy, forced prostitution, forced marriage and forced child-bearing. There is urgent need for better documentation, monitoring and reporting on the extreme suffering that armed conflict inflicts on girls, as well as on the many roles girls play during conflict and its aftermath. Such information and response mechanisms are needed for the purpose of strengthening and developing policy and programs to prevent and or address these grave rights violations. This paper documents and analyses the grave human rights violations girls endure during situations of armed conflict and offers recommendations on preventing and or addressing those harms. The paper begins by offering a concise overview of current trends in armed conflict and the impact of armed conflict on children. It discusses existing international initiatives that identify grave and systematic violations against girls during armed conflict and reviews the most pertinent international legal standards relating to these violations. To better understand the gender dimensions, the paper describes and analyzes the experiences of girls during armed conflicts, noting gendered patterns to the grave rights violations committed against them. The paper offers examples of some best practices to address these violations. The paper concludes with concrete recommendations to governments, the United Nations and NGOs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Girls, Health, HIV/AIDS, Households, International Law, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, NGOs, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Torture, Sexual Torture

Year: 2006

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