To promote the impact and effectiveness of the United Nations children and armed conflict agenda, Watchlist undertook the following policy and advocacy activities:
1. Princeton Workshop “Strengthening the implementation of the United Nations children and armed conflict agenda”
On 12 and 13 December 2013, Watchlist, together with the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, convened a workshop on children and armed conflict at Princeton University. The workshop brought together representatives of States Members of the United Nations, including members of the Security Council, offices and departments of the Secretariat (O/SRSG-CAAC, DPKO and OCHA), members of the International Criminal Court, academics and non-governmental organizations to discuss strengthening action by the Security Council on violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict.
The workshop comprised a public session on 12 December to introduce a wider audience to the plight of children affected by armed conflict. On 13 December, experts explored ways in which they could support the joint campaign by the SRSG-CAAC and UNICEF to end the recruitment and use of children by government security forces in conflict by 2016. In a second session, participants discussed the role of partners in promoting and implementing the children and armed conflict agenda. Finally, they examined other violations and abuses committed against children, focusing in particular on attacks on schools and hospitals.
Click here to watch the video of the Princeton Workshop “Strengthening the implementation of the United Nations children and armed conflict agenda”
Click here to read the report of the Princeton Workshop “Strengthening the implementation of the United Nations children and armed conflict agenda”
2. Children and Armed Conflict: A Discussion on Security Sector Preparedness for Prevention and Response in the Field
On 26 February, Watchlist, together with its associate member the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, and the International Peace Institute, organized a panel discussion on Children and Armed Conflict: Security Sector Preparedness for Prevention and Response in the Field, which aimed to discuss questions such as: “How can security sector actors be better prepared to face child soldiers before joining the mission in the field? What can security sector actors contribute in terms of preventative action during wartime?”
While child soldiering is widely considered to be a profound legal and child protection problem, professional security sector actors are currently underprepared to deal with its unique challenges. Security sector actors are usually placed on the front lines with little or no training on what to expect from or how to deal with children being used as soldiers. Yet, security sector actors are often the first point of outside contact for child soldiers in complex peace operations in countries such as Mali, DR Congo, and South Sudan. As such, these stakeholders have a crucial role to play in preventing their recruitment and use.
The provocative discussion offered multiple insights on the issues raised above.
Click here to read the IPI Meeting Brief on the discussion
Click here to watch the video of the discussion
3. Special CAC Monthly Update
In support of its lobby activities, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict released a ‘special edition’ of its CAC Monthly Updates, urging the Security Council to commit to the following actions to strengthen implementation of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda:
Click here to read the March 2014 Special CAC Monthly Update.
Click here to read Watchlist’s Press Release on the March 2014 Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict.