In armed conflicts around the world, children and adolescents are subjected to egregious violations, such as sexual violence, killing and maiming, abduction, and recruitment and use as child soldiers. The day-to-day lives of these children are further disrupted by attacks on their schools and hospitals, and by the denial of humanitarian assistance.
Although tangible progress has been made in recent years to hold perpetrators accountable and to prevent future violations, there remains an urgent need for more effective programs and policies to address the needs of children affected by armed conflict.
Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict strives to end violations against children in armed conflicts and to guarantee their rights. As a global network, the Watchlist builds partnerships among local, national, and international nongovernmental organizations, enhancing mutual capacities and strengths. Working together, we collect and disseminate information on violations against children in conflicts in order to influence key decision-makers to create and implement programs and policies that effectively protect children.
Watchlist’s work follows three main program areas:
History and Governance
Watchlist was formed in 2001 by a group of leading human rights and humanitarian organizations in response to the need for improved monitoring and reporting on violations against children in war. Watchlist is known for its work on children and human rights, boasting – through its members – both a solid expertise on child protection and a wealth of information and experiences coming directly from the ground.
Watchlist’s programmatic content is set by an Advisory Board composed of five international NGOs. Its network further includes nine Associate Member organizations who share our commitment to protect the security and rights of children affected by armed conflict.
Watchlist membership includes, but is not limited to, the following organizations:
Adrianne Lapar is the Director of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict. Previously, she served as Watchlist’s Partnerships Officer, where she was responsible for strengthening the capacities of local civil society partners in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Myanmar, to monitor, report, and respond to grave violations against children. Prior to joining Watchlist, Adrianne held several field-based positions in human rights and humanitarian protection, including with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Colombia. She has also worked for Human Rights Watch in New York, focusing on advocacy with the United Nations. Adrianne has a Master’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish Language and Literature, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She speaks Spanish, Czech, Slovak, and some French, and is based in New York.
Bethany Ellis is Watchlist’s Advocacy Officer. She is responsible for leading advocacy initiatives to advance the children and armed conflict agenda at the UN and related bodies in collaboration with Watchlist’s Director, Advisory Board, Associate Members, and partners. Prior to joining Watchlist, she served as a research consultant for Save the Children offices in Germany and Serbia, analyzing the impact of European refugee and asylum policies on the protection of displaced children. She previously led the education in emergencies portfolio for the Global Business Coalition for Education in New York and Washington, DC, and has also worked in Chennai, India on initiatives to end bonded labor and human trafficking. Bethany holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s in International Political Economy from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She is based in New York.
Victoria Walker is the Grants and Operations Coordinator for Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict. Prior to joining Watchlist, Victoria supported the UN advocacy team at ChildFund Alliance and worked in human rights education and youth development at organizations such as Peace Project Inc and Inspiring Minds. Victoria spent two years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where she worked with marginalized children and youth in leadership development, civic engagement, and youth empowerment programming. Victoria holds a Master’s degree in Global Affairs, with a concentration in human rights and international law, from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wheaton College (MA). She has participated in academic programming and research in Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania. Victoria is based in New York.