From Syria to Sudan to Mexico to Myanmar to Ukraine; from recent conflicts in Serbia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Colombia; in low-level conflicts and full-blown wars, children are disproportionately impacted by and increasingly vulnerable to the devastating effects of armed conflict.
Until the 1990s, violations against children during armed conflict largely remained unpunished. In 1996 the UN established the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG/CAAC) to increase global awareness about the plight of children during armed conflict, create the Convention of Rights of The Rights of Children (CRC) in 1999, and make the protection of children a priority in the UN’s quest for international peace, security, stability, and prosperity.
However, millions of children on every continent are killed, maimed, physically and psychologically harmed, and left homeless and alone every year. The life-long impacts of these conflicts not only bring clear and immediate physical and psychological effects; they also prevent children from realizing their potential for stable, healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives.
When their futures are compromised, every state – whether it or its neighbor has been embroiled in the actual conflict – faces negative effects on its economy, security, development, immigration, and societal stability and peace.
This conference seeks to confront these challenges and provide a road map to a better future for our children and the world.