The mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict was created by the General Assembly (Resolution A/RES/51/77) following the publication, in 1996, of a report by Graça Machel titled the “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children”. Her report highlighted the disproportionate impact of war on children and identified them as the primary victims of armed conflict.

Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1261 (1999), the systematic engagement of the UN Security Council has firmly placed the situation of children affected by armed conflict on its agenda, recognizing the widespread impact of armed conflict on children and the long-term consequences this has for durable peace, security and development.

The CAAC Primer has been developed by the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Amed Conflict and the United Nations System Staff College thanks to the financial support of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta. It builds on the lessons learned of the Virtual Summer School on Child Protection in Armed Conflict.

The Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) Primer aims to raise awareness and knowledge of the CAAC agenda. It is meant to empower and enable participants to contribute to the implementation of the agenda through their work.

Course description and format

The CAAC Primer is a self-paced online course open to everyone via the United Nations System Staff College e-lounge platform. After registering, you will be granted immediate access to the learning platform and all learning materials. The Primer features four foundational learning modules to provide the learners with the necessary basic knowledge to mainstream the CAAC agenda in their work. They cover the following:

Module 1 – Introduction to the Children and Armed Conflict agenda

Module 2 – The six grave violations against children

Module 3 – Key CAAC actors and partners and their roles

Module 4 – The CAAC toolbox


Duration: Continuous enrolment

Venue: The CAAC Primer takes place entirely online on the UN System Staff College e-lounge.

Language: The CAAC Primer will be held in English.

Cost of participation: Thanks to the generous support of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta, the CAAC Primer is offered free of charge.

Certificate: Participants will be granted a certificate by the UN System Staff College upon successful completion of the CAAC Primer. No academic credits (ECTS) attached.

Target audience: The CAAC Primer is open to all and targeting a diverse range of professionals, including staff members from the UN, governments, regional organizations, civil society, and academia.

Registration: You can register and access the course via the United Nations System Staff College e-lounge platform.

For any questions, you can contact: osrsg-caac-vss@un.org