Policy Report Focuses on Protecting Children in Armed Conflict

A new report from the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, "Children and Armed Conflict: How to Deal with Persistent Perpetrators?" addresses the role of the United Nations in protecting children in areas of armed conflict and in holding accountable persistent perpetrators of violations against the rights of children in conflict areas. The report is the result of a workshop sponsored by LISD, the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, and Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, held at Princeton University on February 7-8, 2013. It has been published as an official document of the Security Council (S/2013/158).  

The report examines options and targeted approaches the UN Security Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict could use to put pressure on persistent perpetrators of violations against children in situations of armed conflict, as well as opportunities for better mainstreaming the protection of children affected by armed conflict throughout the work of the Security Council. Recommendations in the report on persistent perpetrators focus on Security Council leadership and engagement on children and armed conflict; the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and its "toolkit" usage; action plan conclusion and implementation; the use of targeted measures; and the role of the International Criminal Court. The report also provides targeted recommendations for the Security Council, the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, UN member states, and the Secretary-General related to better mainstreaming of the protection of children.

The workshop brought together representatives of United Nations member states, members of the Security Council, United Nations offices including the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Department for Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Political Affairs, and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, representatives of NGOs, and academics to discuss strengthening Security Council action toward perpetrators of violations against children in situations of armed conflict. The workshop was comprised of public sessions on Thursday, February 7, to introduce a wider audience to the plight of children affected by armed conflict, and two closed sessions on Friday, February 8. In addressing the current gaps in mandates related to the issue of children in armed conflict in UN missions, workshop participants focused especially on those authorizing the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), both of which are due for renewal in March 2013.