To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to all parties involved in the conflict in South Sudan on stopping the forced recruitment of children; and what steps he is taking to support UNMISS in taking preventative action to stop such forced recruitment.
My Hon Friend, the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge MP), the Minister for Africa, raised this issue with the South Sudanese Foreign Minister at a Ministerial roundtable during UNGA in September 2014. We have raised the use of child soldiers both as part of our broader Human Rights engagement with the Government of South Sudan, as well as with the opposition. The UK co-sponsored UNMISS’s latest mandate renewal in May 2015, which re-iterated the mission’s strong focus on the Protection of Civilians, including children. We also fully supported the recruitment of children as a criteria for imposing targeted sanctions under the UN sanctions mechanism that was adopted in March.