The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict serves as the leading UN advocate for the protection and well-being of children affected by armed conflict.
The mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict was created by the General Assembly (Resolution A/RES/51/77) following the publication, in 1996, of a report by Graça Machel titled the “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children”. Her report highlighted the disproportionate impact of war on children and identified them as the primary victims of armed conflict.
The role of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict is to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict, raise awareness, promote the collection of information about the plight of children affected by war and foster international cooperation to improve their protection. She reports yearly to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council and raises challenges faced by children in war to political bodies, such as the UN Security Council, as well as relevant Governments to maintain a sense of urgency amongst key decision makers as well as to secure political and diplomatic engagement.
Since 1999, the systematic engagement of the UN Security Council has firmly placed the situation of children affected by armed conflict as an issue affecting peace and security.
The Security Council has created a strong framework and provided the Office of the Special Representative tools to respond to violations against children.
Six grave violations affecting children in times of conflict were identified:
• recruitment and use of children
• killing and maiming of children
• sexual violence against children
• attacks on schools and hospitals
• abduction of children
• denial of humanitarian access
Thematic focus and advocacy
Advocacy efforts focus on a number of key priority areas. These include the delivery of comprehensive and long-term reintegration assistance for children, as well as the rights of children confronted to justice systems, both as victims and perpetrators.
Where is United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC)