Concern No. 9: On children’s rights against child labor, sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation

The current economic, political and social crises brought about by imperialist plunder and super-profit pushes the oppressed and exploited peoples to join liberation movements and wage revolutionary armed struggles. They seize upon people’s revolution as the most effective means to improve their plight and defend themselves against the brutal attacks on their communities. In the process, they liberate themselves from feudal, capitalist and foreign oppression, exploitation and domination. When whole communities participate in the struggle for liberation, children become part of these struggles, not necessarily as armed combatants. They participate in the spheres of culture, education, and health.

The imperialists’ war of terror is the number one violator of children’s rights. It kills, maims and renders orphans and displaces millions of children globally. Imperialism ferociously and unrelentingly attacks national liberation and revolutionary movements and even legal mass movements because they embody the determined will of the people to fight and build a better society.

On the ideological plane, the US imperialist-led countries and international organizations such as the United Nations and its various bodies and agencies use the emotionally appealing issue of children in armed conflict situations, specifically the concept of “child soldiers” to dehumanize and demonize the revolutionary forces and the people that support them. In the past years, the UN has built its legal framework to sanction armed revolutionary forces by including the recruitment and use of “child soldiers” as a war crime that can be tried in the International Criminal Court.

In 2007, the UN adopted the Paris Principles and Paris Commitments that broaden the definition of “child soldiering” to include indirect and non-armed contributions of children to the people’s liberation movement. While claiming to provide the most protective environment for children, such a broad definition in fact expose children to attacks by State armed forces. Branding children as “child soldiers” gives license to military and paramilitary forces to violate the rights of children.

Situations have arisen where State armed forces violate children’s human rights with impunity and label them as “child soldiers” to escape accountability for such violations.

As freedom loving peoples who are determined to fight imperialism and stand for the rights of children of oppressed classes of society, the ILPS calls upon itself to resolutely:

  1. Expose and oppose the Paris Principles and Paris Commitments as anti-child program guidelines of the UN that do not serve the best interests of children in situations of armed conflict, and in fact only serve the interest of reactionary States and imperialism to undermine the just aspirations of oppressed people;

  2. Expose and oppose other reformist concepts peddled by the UN and similar imperialist-dominated or imperialist-funded international agencies and NGOs; and

  3. Set up and strengthen the ILPS Study Commission on Children (Concern No. 9) that shall lead in undertaking critical studies and actions on various issues and conditions of children affected and exploited by imperialists and the local ruling classes in various parts of the globe, such as children in armed conflict situations, child labor, abuse and all forms of child exploitation.

Adopted by the Workshop on Concern #9:

  1. Charo Pompa-Mariñas Phil-Australia Youth Action Group Australia

  2. Mildred German Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance Canada

  3. Luz C. Ilagan Gabriela Women’s Party Philippines

  4. Mahendra Charlise Helpless Rehabilitation Society Nepal

  5. Atmeshwar Chopagain Helpless Rehabilitation Society Nepal

  6. Fang Shi-En Yikida Taiwan

  7. Wu ya pei Yikida Taiwan

  8. Sung, Sheng Chun Yikida Taiwan

  9. Chon, Chzen Ping Yikida Taiwan

  10. Chon, Hui chien Yikida Taiwan

  11. P. Chennaiah APVVU India

  12. Ira Pamat Kinabuhi Philippines

  13. Jose Enrique Africa Ibon Foundation Philippines

  14. Sol Pajadura Migrante-Ontario Canada

  15. Alphonse Rivera Salinlahi Alliance Philippines

  16. Sophia Garduce Children’s Rehabilitation Center Philippines

  17. Esmeralda Macaspac Children’s Rehabilitation Center Philippines

  18. Cherry Padilla Gabriela Women’s Party Philippines

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