Children in conflict
In protecting children, who have known violence throughout their lives, peacekeepers can break the cycle of violence and lay the foundations for durable peace.
Child Protection & Peacekeeping: A Child's Fate
Why is child protection at the heart of peacekeeping?
Conflicts disproportionately affect children. Many are subject to abductions, military recruitment, killing, maiming, and numerous forms of exploitation children.
In many conflict-ridden countries, peacekeeping missions are the largest actor on the ground and their contribution is vital to protecting children.
The Security Council has addressed this issue since 1999 and the protection of children in conflict has been included in the mandates of peacekeeping operations since 2001. In these past ten years peacekeeping operations have helped release thousands of child soldiers and advocate for legislative reform.
How is UN Peacekeeping protecting children?
We carry out a range of work, including:
Deployment of Child Protection Advisers
Mainstreaming child protection within the mission
Monitoring and Reporting
Negotiating with armed groups
Training for all peacekeepers
Pre-deployment training is essential for all military personnel. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has developed ground-breaking new training standards for military personnel. The training course teaches them how to prevent and report violations against children, how to interact with other child protection actors, and raises awareness about their own behavior towards children. It is our aim that 100,000 peacekeepers are trained to become a protective force for children.
The new training materials can be downloaded: 'Train Act Protect'.
Resolutions and policy
The following Security Council resolutions and policy govern the work of peacekeeping operations in protecting children.
Security Council resolutions
- Resolution 2143 [S/RES/2143(2014)]
- Resolution 2068 [S/RES/2068(2012)]
- Resolution 1998 [S/RES/1998(2001)]
- Resolution 1882 [S/RES/1882(2009)]
- Resolution 1612 [S/RES/1612(2005)]
- Resolution 1539 [S/RES/1539(2004)]
- Resolution 1460 [S/RES/1460(2003)]
- Resolution 1379 [S/RES/1379(2001)]
- Resolution 1314 [S/RES/1314(2000)]
- Resolution 1261 [S/RES/1261(1999)]
- DPKO/DFS Policy on mainstreaming the protection, rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict within UN Peacekeeping Operations (2009)
- DPKO/DFS Policy on the Prohibition of Child Labour in UN Peacekeeping Operations (2011)
20 November marks Universal Children's Day, a day to remember the children growing up in wars throughout the world, and to reaffirm our commitment to stand up for their rights and to take firm action. In this podcast, Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, Assistant Secretary-General and Military Adviser to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, talks about his personal encounters with children as the former Force Commander in the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the successes and challenges in introducing child protection in the daily work of his soldiers. You can listen to the podcast here .