Defending the Future: Advancing Children’s Interests and right to participate in the people’s resistance against imperialist exploitation, militarization, and wars of aggression

Resolution for Commission #9

In recent years, the entire world especially the imperialist United States (US) succumbed to severe economic depression. The crisis has intensified as the imperialist powers scramble over the few remaining territories to extract raw materials and to serve as dumping grounds for their surplus products and capital.

Ultimately, the imperialist countries have had to rein in their neo-colonies through the strict enforcement of economic agreements that are geared towards the interests of the empire. Moreover, the imperialist countries also take advantage of the ongoing social unrest in many countries (such as in the West Asia and North Africa) in order to wrest control over their governments, especially on policies that protect national sovereignty. This is presently manifested in Libya which is currently facing a war of aggression initiated by the imperialist countries.

The state of global depression has pushed people to struggle against exploitative and oppressive State policies acted by imperialist masters remained and in fact, worsened.

In other neo-colonies, counter-insurgency programs, patterned after the US Counter Insurgency Guide continue to violate human rights with impunity not only through air raids and military operations but also through attacks on individuals in the form of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and detention. 

Children, as part of the suffering people are also subjected to the same human rights violations. They are either part of the “collateral damage” in wars of aggression and in state military operations or viewed as targets of attacks as supporters or sympathizers of national liberation armies or as so-called “child soldiers”.

The United Nations, while claiming to champion children’s rights, ironically further exposes children’s vulnerabilities through the Paris Principles which broadens the definition of child soldiering from actual participation in combat to participation in support activities such as cooking, running errands, etc for armed forces and armed groups. Thus, children in communities believed to be strongholds of national liberation forces are targeted for attacks and are branded by the state as child soldiers.

Such moves serve not only to discourage children’s participation even in legitimate actions such as cultural and educational activities that serve as venues for them to express their issues and further their cause. The Paris Principles ultimately aims to separate the children in their families and their communities. In their evolving capacities and with adult guidance, children can be a part of the strong voice of the oppressed and exploited people in their struggle for genuine democracy and liberation.

GENERAL RESOLUTIONS

  1. To continue to expose and oppose imperialist attacks that affect children directly and indirectly such as in wars of aggression, labor exploitation, trafficking and prostitution, forced migration, economic displacement, etc.;

  2. To further data gathering and eventually expose the Paris Principles of the UN as an imperialist tool to discourage the participation of children even in legitimate actions that are part of their people’s struggle for democracy and genuine liberation;

  3. To include children’s issues as part of people’s issues that movements all over the world have to assert and fight for towards the bright future that we all dream of;

  4. To encourage the participation of children in issues that directly affect them such struggles based on their evolving capacities and with adult guidance and protection.

    • Encourage children to arouse, organize and mobilize themselves as their contribution to the people’s resistance and struggle against imperialism.

  5. To launch education campaign among children on their rights and support their efforts in organizing themselves

  6. To Set up and strengthen the ILPS Study Commission on Children (concern #9) that shall lead in undertaking critical studies and actions on various issues and conditions of children affected and exploited by imperialism in various parts of the globe, such as children in armed conflict situations, child labor, child abuse and all forms of child exploitation.

SPECIFIC RESOLUTIONS

  • To initiate a campaign to free all children illegally arrested and detained in the course of exercising their rights to participate in the people’s resistance in Kurdistan and in other countries.

  • To initiate a study on migrant children and children of migrants with the end in view of providing necessary support for the children and their families

  • To expose the negative impact of mining on children (labor exploitation, health, etc.) and oppose the blatant destruction of communities and the environment through mining.

  • To initiate advocacy on the environment among children.

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