On August 2, 2019, the UN Security Council will hold its open debate on children and armed conflict (CAC) under Poland’s presidency. Poland will seek to highlight the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1882 (2009), as well as to follow up on prevention efforts, including vis à vis implementation of Resolution 2427 (2018). The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, will present the Secretary-General’s 2019 annual report on children and armed conflict (forthcoming).

With approximately 420 million children—nearly one-fifth of children worldwide—living in conflict zones, efforts to strengthen the protection of children’s rights in armed conflict are needed today more than ever. The open debate is a key opportunity for Member States to reaffirm their support for the UN’s CAC agenda, which seeks to address grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict, hold those responsible to account, and prevent future crimes against children.

Ahead of the 2019 open debate, Watchlist urges UN Member States to:

  • Continue to strengthen the UN’s CAC agenda and make effective use of mechanisms and tools to protect the rights of children in armed conflict;
  • Unequivocally condemn all parties to conflict that commit grave violations against children, and demand that they cease all such violations and put in place concrete and effective protection measures;
  • Commit to providing effective support for children victims, including through sustainable, gender-sensitive rehabilitation and reintegration programming, and support services for child survivors of sexual violence;
  • Call for justice and accountability for all grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict.

Read Watchlist’s Special Update for the August 2019 Open Debate.