What is the Office of the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict?
The mandate of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG-CAAC) was created by the UN General Assembly in December 1996 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.
The Special Representative reports annually to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. Moreover, she 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 and to ensure 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 Council has created a strong framework and equipped the Office of the Special Representative with tools to respond to grave violations against children.
Virginia Gamba of Argentina is the current and fourth Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
OSRSG-CAAC in Brussels
In 2017, the General Assembly mandated the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to strengthen her engagement with regional and subregional organizations to respond to emerging challenges with regards to the protection of conflict-affected children.
To foster strategic partnerships with the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other key stakeholders in Europe, including the Human Rights Council, and civil society organizations, the Special Representative created a European Liaison Office in Brussels in 2018.
The UN Liaison Office for Children and Armed Conflict represents the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in Europe and liaises on all matters related to children and armed conflict that fall under the remit of the Special Representative.
Over 160,000 child soldiers released since 2000 as a result of UN dialogue and Action Plans.
170 ratifications to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict have been obtained.
Hundreds of joint commitments signed with parties to conflict including 17 Action Plans currently under implementation.
The Paris Principles adopted in 2007 and endorsed by at least 111 States with the aim to ensure child soldiers are treated primarily as victims, and that their reintegration is a priority.
The Safe Schools Declaration against military use of schools adopted in 2015 and endorsed by at least 107 States.
At least 100 countries have endorsed the Vancouver Principles.
The ACT to Protect campaign was launched in at least 7 countries on the CAAC agenda and endorsed by partners around the world.
You can view and download OSRSG CAAC publications and reports on the website https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/virtual-library/
Anne Schintgen, Head of Office, [email protected]
Federica Sola, Associate Political Affairs Officer, [email protected]
Rina Cabactulan, Administrative Assistant, [email protected]
155 rue de la Loi,