Children in armed conflict

Millions of children are exposed to the horrors of armed conflict. Countless children have been killed, raped, seriously injured and permanently disabled and forced to witness or even to take part in horrifying acts of violence.

UN and children in armed conflict

The United Nations has called for stronger efforts to protect children in armed conflict and to stop the use of child soldiers. In 1993, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to appoint an expert, Graça Machel, to study the impact of armed conflict on children. This resulted in the key report Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (A/51/306 and Add.1), published in 1996.

Following the recommendations of this report a Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict was appointed by the Secretary-General in 1997.
The Special Representative obtained important commitments from governments, and, as a consequence, a framework of norms and standards for the protection of children in armed conflict has evolved.

The Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict was launched in 2005 to review reports, monitor the implementation of UN mechanisms and make recommendations to the Council to promote the protection of children in armed conflict.

See also DagDok on the Rights of the Child.

More on UN and Children in armed conflict

The United Nations has adopted important legal instruments for the protection of children in armed conflict:

Websites and blogs

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.