The Machel Reports

The 1996 Machel Report on the “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children”

In 1996 the United Nations General Assembly received a groundbreaking report on the “Impact of armed conflict on children”.  The report was written by Graça Machel,  an expert of the Secretary-General and former Minister of Education of Mozambique,  and described  the devastating impact of war on girls and boys. The report  included a number of concrete recommendations for the protection of children in armed conflict.

The General Assembly welcomed the report in its resolution A/RES/51/77 and further recommended that the Secretary-General appoints a Special Representative on children and armed conflict. The study remains widely used as a foundation for advocacy in child protection.

The Machel Study 10 Year Strategic Review

To mark the 10th anniversary of the original Machel Report,  the Office, UNICEF  and other United Nations and NGO partners undertook a stock taking exercise of the progress made since the original report.

The study reviewed the current situation faced by children in armed conflict including the impact of the changing nature of conflict. The review also presented the milestones that have been achieved since the original report such as the solid international child protection standards, the active involvement of both the General Assembly and the Security Council in making the issue a top priority, and the enhancement of strategies and programmes to protect war-affected children. The report also highlighted the priorities and the responses required in the new decade.

In 2007, the General Assembly was presented with a summary of the key findings of the strategic review in Part II of the SRSG’s Report to the General Assembly  (A/62/228).

Young voices from conflict zones

As a key contribution to the 10-year review, the United Nations compiled the views and recommendations of some 1,700 children and young people in 92 countries. Their thoughts and ideas were collected through a series of focus group discussions and an online questionnaire.