CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT

Millions of children are caught up in conflicts around the world. They witness atrocities and in some cases may even become targets in the conflict. They lose parents and loved ones. They suffer due to acts of violence, sexual abuse, and exposure to hunger or disease. The Focus Group on Children and Armed Conflict was established to advocate for the protection of all children in the midst of conflict.

ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP

A Focus Group on Children and Armed Conflict was established in February 2013 and officially became the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in March 2016. It is currently convened by War Child Holland. Its members include Arigatou International (co-convenor), Defence for Children International – International Secretariat, World Vision International, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes International Federation, War Child Holland (Convenor); Women’s World Summit Foundation.

External/Observers include: War Child UK, Watchlist, Geneva Call, and Child Soldiers International

The Working Group advocates on issues relating to children and conflict, and operates as a Geneva-based focal point to coordinate information and activities. It aims to ensure that the key institutions in Geneva – such as the Human Rights Council and the Committee on the Rights of the Child – are better equipped and informed to take decisions, make recommendations, and to formulate Concluding Observations on the broader issue of children and conflict. It also collaborates where possible with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict.

THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL ON CHILDREN AND CONFLICT

On 13 July 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Leila Zerrougui as his Special Representative on Children and Conflict. The Working Group met with Ms. Zerrougui in September 2013, and plans to contribute towards her work by supporting country visits and the writing of her annual report.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The Working Group intends to host side events and deliver written and oral statements on the topic of children and armed conflict during sessions of the Human Rights Council (HRC).

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PARTNERS

The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict collaborates with the following:

–       Other Working Groups such as the Mainstreaming Working Group and Violence against Children

–       Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva

–       Regional and national coalitions for the CRC and Universal Periodic Review and international coalitions with a specific focus on the protection of CAAC. These include the Paris Principle Steering Group, the Child Protection Working Group and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children (ACERWC), inter alia.

 

CONTACT

For more information on the Focus Group on Children and Armed Conflict, please contact the convenor of the Focus Group: Eamonn Hanson (War Child Holland).