Raising global awareness to protect children
The role of the Special Representative is to serve as an independent moral voice on behalf of children affected by conflict. The Special Representative raises challenges faced by children in war to political bodies, such as the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, the Security Council and relevant Governments to maintain a sense of urgency amongst key decision makers as well as to secure political and diplomatic engagement. The Special Representative’s field missions are central to her advocacy efforts.
As part of her work, she has forged strong partnerships with other Departments and Offices within the United Nations Secretariat, Agencies, Funds, and Programmes in the United Nations System.
Through the media, academics, civil society, and social networks, the Special Representative increases the level of understanding of the issue of children and armed conflict within the general public.
Thematic focus and advocacy
Advocacy efforts focus on a number of key priority areas. These include the delivery of comprehensive and long-term reintegration assistance for children, the rights of internally displaced children, as well as the rights of children confronted to justice systems, both as victims and perpetrators.
A particular advocacy initiative is the Office’s two-year campaign called “Zero under 18″ with the purpose of achieving universal ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC).