Ms. Yoana Barakova (EFSAS) discussing the legal framework on child soldiers during the 40th Session of UNHRC
Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) speaking at a Seminar, ‘Child Victims of Terrorism in Search for Justice’, during the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, organized by Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism (ADVT). Ms. Barakova deliberated upon the international legal framework concerning child victims of terrorism and particularly child soldiers.
Ms. Yoana Barakova (Research Analyst EFSAS) speaking during the 40th Session of the UNHRC
Ms. Barakova argued that in the region of South Asia, one of the most militarized parts of the world, children have often found themselves on the crossroads of inter-ethnic conflicts, terrorism, radicalization and extremist violence, easily becoming a target of militant extremist groups for the purposes of exploitation and forced recruitment as child soldiers. Terrorist groups in general terms target helpless individuals, who live in unstable regions. Therefore, war-torn States, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region of Jammu & Kashmir, have created the favourable conditions where thousands of displaced persons become a perfect prey once they already lack safe and secure shelter, reliable guardians and opportunities for positive development.
Ms. Barakova concluded by saying that the leap between radicalization and actual engagement in terrorism is vast, yet, without attempting to find a solution and deal with the former, all strategies applied to the latter will be futile. Therefore, efforts must be concentrated on intercepting and ceasing the link while it is still a foetus.