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Specific policy to protect children enforced: MoD   

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AT-KABUL: Ministries of Defense and Interior in joint venture developed and signed the Child Protection policy in order to protect children in the country on Wednesday.

This policy aimed to protect children from adverse effects of armed conflict and to prevent “all forms” of violence against children a as well avoid abuse of children by the security forces.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in collaboration with the NATO and children protection organizations has developed the policy in the past one year. The Defense minister and first deputy of interior signed the policy last day afternoon in order to be implemented by Afghan army and police.

“Today Defense Minister, and representative of Interior Ministry signed the children protection policy to be implemented and children protected in the country,” Muhammad Radmanish, Defense Ministry spokesman told Afghanistan times.

He said the by implementation of this policy all violations against children will be monitored and investigated.

Although Afghanistan before had signed several international conventions for protection of children, but such a policy was required for better protection of children.

The initiative is an effort to codify a number of measures to provide for greater protection of children, including to prevent the use of violence against children involving any personnel in the Afghan National Army and its associated civilians and contractors in the Ministry of Defense, the NATO forces who train and advise the Afghan troops and contributed in development of this policy said in a statement.

“The NATO mission will continue … to work with the Afghan military, as well as with the UN and the international community to see that the child protection policy is fully embedded into the Afghan military’s operations,” said General John Nicholson, the Resolute Support commander in the statement.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), child casualties remained at high levels during the first six months of 2017, accounting for 30 percent of all civilian casualties.

Poverty continues to push children towards recruitment by armed actors, including militants and in some cases government backed local uprising forces in the country.

In recent years, sexual abuse of children by Afghan forces were reported by media forcing the government to take some measures to prevent it, including criminalizing Bacha-Bazi or sexual abuse of children in afghan penal code.

“Despite formidable challenges, the Government of Afghanistan has recently demonstrated commendable progress towards ending and preventing grave violations against children,” said Gen. Nicholson.