On February 3, 2022, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) and Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) held an annual children and armed conflict (CAAC) policy workshop. The eighth such workshop organized by Watchlist, the virtual event brought together UN Member States, UN agencies and offices, civil society, and academia to discuss challenges and priorities for implementing the CAAC agenda in 2022.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC) Virginia Gamba opened the workshop with a keynote address on 25 years of the CAAC mandate and opportunities to strengthen the protection of children in the coming year.

The workshop included three working sessions that brought together expert panelists and key stakeholders for candid discussions. The first session addressed implementation of the CAAC agenda, featuring reflections from Norway and Canada in their respective capacities as chair of the Security Council Working Group on CAAC (SCWG-CAAC) and chair of the Group of Friends of CAAC in New York. Additional sessions focused on protecting education in armed conflict through implementation of Security Council Resolution 2601 (2021) and addressing multiple vulnerabilities faced by children in armed conflict and how existing tools of the CAAC agenda can more systematically consider these children’s needs.

In a wrap-up session, participants identified several key points and recommendations for translating the discussions into concrete action. At this writing, Watchlist and Fordham are preparing a summary outcome document highlighting the key messages and recommendations from the workshop that will be published and disseminated later this year.