United Nations Partners

Protecting children requires the engagement of the United Nations system as a whole. The Special Representative acts as a convener, and facilitates collaboration on child protection among the United Nations, both at the Headquarters and field levels.

The resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly to create the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict recommended that he or she:

  • (a) Assess progress achieved, steps taken and difficulties encountered in strengthening the protection of children in situations of armed conflict;
  • (b) Raise awareness and promote the collection of information about the plight of children affected by armed conflict and encourage the development of networking;
  • (c) Work closely with the Committee on the Rights of the Child, relevant United Nations bodies, the specialized agencies and other competent bodies, as well as non-governmental organizations;
  • (d) Foster international cooperation to ensure respect for children’s rights in these situations and contribute to the coordination of efforts by Governments, relevant United Nations bodies, notably the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the specialized agencies and the Committee on the Rights of the Child, relevant special rapporteurs and working groups, as well as United Nations field operations, regional and subregional organizations, other competent bodies and non-governmental organizations;

Partnerships in the field

Where parties to conflict are listed in the Secretary-General’s annual report, a Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting is established, composed of relevant United Nations actors including UNICEF and DPKO child protection staff. These actors are the eyes and ears of the Office and monitor and report on grave violations committed against children, establish dialogue with parties to conflict, and develop action plans to end violations committed against children if parties are committed to do so. They are also involved in national or regional advocacy efforts. Information gathered at the country level is sent to the Office for Children and Armed Conflict for review, vetting and preparation of reports of the Secretary-General.

UNICEF, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs play a key role in coordinating and co-chairing the Task Force.

The Office of the Special Representative supports field-based child protection efforts including through technical assistance, as well as support for training, advocacy and fund-raising.

Watch this video describing the work of child protection officers and produced by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Partnerships at UN Headquarters

The Special Representative regularly convenes the Task Force on Children and Armed Conflict in New York. This Task Force, made up of relevant United Nations offices, meets to discuss the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict and other pressing issues.

In addition, together with UNICEF, DPKO and other United Nations partners, the Office of the Special Representative has produced a broad range of guidelines for the field, including guidance and templates for use by field-based partners in the development of action plans to halt grave violations against children.

The Office of the Special Representative also works closely with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict to tackle the issue of sexual violence against children in war-affected countries. Regular coordination also takes place with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children on issues of common concern including the joint campaign for the universal ratification of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Working with Civil Society

The Special Representative is also committed to fostering closer relations on this issue between Member States and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Read more about our Civil Society Partners.