Workshop: Children and Armed Conflict

Event Date: 
Friday, December 13, 2013
Location: 
016 Robertson Hall

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will convene a workshop on "Children and Armed Conflict," on December 12-13, 2013 at Princeton University. The workshop is sponsored in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations and Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict. This is the second of such workshops to be held.

In February 2013, the first Princeton Workshop on Children and Armed Conflict identified a series of recommendations for strengthening Security Council action towards perpetrators of grave violations against children. In May 2013, the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict discussed options for increasing persistent perpetrators of grave violations against children. In June 2013, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict announced her intention to launch a campaign aimed at ending the association of children with State armed forces by 2016.

The December workshop will build on and complement these efforts by identifying specific, concrete actions to strengthen the implementation of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda. The objective of the meeting is to bring together international policy makers and actors engaged in implementation of the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism to discuss specific, concrete, and targeted actions that can be taken within the framework of the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict agenda to put an end to and to prevent the recruitment and use of children by state actors and non-state armed groups, as well as to end and to prevent other grave violations against children.

Since it adopted resolution 1539 (2004), the UN Security Council has repeatedly called on parties to armed conflict to put an end to the recruitment and use of children and other grave violations against children and to develop concrete time-bound action plans to end and to prevent such violations. As of 2013, 21 parties have concluded such action plans, and eight parties have fully implemented these action plans leading to their “de-listing” from the annexes to the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict. Despite this progress, the UN Secretary-General’s 2013 annual report on children and armed listed 55 governments or non-State armed groups as being responsible for grave violations against children. On June 17, 2013, the Security Council adopted a Presidential statement (S/PRST/2013/8) in which it reiterated its call to these parties to prepare and to implement action plans, and it “encourage[d] Member States to devise ways in close consultation with the United Nations county-level task force on monitoring on monitoring and reporting and United Nations country teams, to facilitate the development and implementation of time-bound action plans.”

Three working sessions will take place, devoted to 1) the recruitment and use of children by state actors, 2) the recruitment and use of children by non-state armed groups, and 3) other grave violations against children, specifically attacks on schools and hospitals. Participants will include representatives of UN Security Council Members, other UN Member States, relevant UN departments and offices, and civil society.  

To set the framework for discussions and to introduce a broader audience to the UN’s efforts to end grave violations against children in armed conflict, a public panel discussion will be held on December 12 at 4:30 p.m. in 016 Robertson Hall.