"Protecting Children from War" Conference (21 February 2017)
On 21 February 2017, France and UNICEF organised a ministerial conference in Paris on "Protecting Children from War" in order to continue the international mobilisation.
Watch the video of the conference
In 2007, France and UNICEF organised the "Free Children from War" Conference in Paris. Upon its conclusion, the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles were adopted.
These two texts set out guidelines to protect children unlawfully recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups on the one hand, and on the other to facilitate their release and reintegration into their communities with other vulnerable children affected by armed conflict. Since then, 105 states have endorsed these Principles and Commitments.
Ten years later, continuing the international mobilisation
Now, ten years later, on 21 February 2017, France and UNICEF organised a ministerial conference in Paris on "Protecting Children from War" in order to continue this international mobilisation. It was chaired by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, in the presence of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui.
This event brought together all actors working to protect children in armed conflict, i.e. almost 120 delegations (States, international and non-governmental organizations, keynote contributors and public figures).
The participants underlined the importance of a universal adoption of the Paris Principles and Paris Commitments and were pleased to see that three States, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Tunisia, had endorsed these texts at the end of this conference.
The goals of the conference
- To assess the situation of children in armed conflict since the adoption of the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles in 2007.
- To recall the existing regulatory framework and promote its implementation,
to identify possible avenues for progress.
- To identify States’ voluntary commitments in this regard, including the endorsement of the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles by new countries.
Video : UN actions and goals of the conference
4 questions to Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Director for the United Nations, International Organisations, Human Rights and Francophonie at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
THE SIX GRAVE VIOLATIONS AGAINST CHILDREN DURING ARMED CONFLICT:
- Recruitment and use of children by armed forces or armed groups
- Killing and maiming of children
- Sexual violence against children, especially girls
- Attacks against schools and hospitals
- Abduction of children
- Denial of humanitarian access
51 non-State armed groups and eight State armed forces were identified in the UN Secretary-General’s blacklist for grave violations against children, which was made public in April 2016.