Administration of North and East Syria establish Child Protection Office

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Following criticism that minors were still making their ways into the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Co-Chairship of the Executive Council of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria issued Decision No. 96, announcing the creation of the Child Protection Office. The decision establishes subsidiary offices in the social affairs and labor authorities.

The DAA declared that the task of the office is to formally receive complaints about child recruitment in the ranks of the SDF and the Internal Security Forces (ISF), in addition to other matters related to violations of children’s rights presented by families, witnesses, or any guardian for children. The complaint will then be sent to the leadership of the SDF to investigate and take the necessary measures. Based on the results of the investigation, perpetrators of child rights violations, including commanders, will be held accountable.

In June 2019, General Commander of the SDF Mazloum Abdi signed an Action Plan with the United Nations to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children under the age of 18.

The Action Plan was also signed by Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, on behalf of the United Nations during an official ceremony at the Palais des Nations.