Applications are now closed.

Selected participants will be contacted and informed by July 31st.

Contact: For more information on the virtual summer school, reach out to:


The Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (the OSRSG- CAAC), in collaboration with the Government of Malta and the University of Malta, is organising a pilot Virtual Summer School (VSS) on Child Protection in Armed Conflict. This innovative training course is specifically designed to bring together partners from all relevant professional backgrounds and to strengthen their capacity to support the CAAC mandate.

Background and rationale: While a number of courses on peace and security, international humanitarian and human rights law, and child protection touch upon CAAC, this training specifically addresses the protection of children in armed conflict. The “child protection officer/advisor” profile is a very technical and also yet political role, calling for specialized training. The CAAC mandate is one of partnership and collaboration involving many professionals from different backgrounds, for whom dedicated training on CAAC is equally relevant. The VSS offers an introductory course on Child Protection in Armed Conflict meant to address these needs by providing a state-of-the art training on this topic.

Objective: The VSS aims at strengthening the knowledge, competencies and skills of actors contributing in various capacities to the protection of children in armed conflict through a holistic and collaborative approach.

Draft Course Outline Now Available!


  • Duration: 2 weeks (10 half-days • ~20h per week • ~23 modules/topics)
  • Dates: 29 August – 9 September 2022
  • Time: 1-5pm CET (4 hours of live lessons, including coffee breaks)

Partners & Speakers: The VSS is implemented by the OSRSG CAAC, with the financial support of the Government of Malta and the technical support of the University of Malta. It involves as trainers and keynote speakers experienced practitioners, identified notably among key UN partners and leading I/NGOs in the sector.

Course Description

Week 1 – ‘War-torn children: the multifold impact of armed conflict on children’

During week 1, participants will be acquainted with relevant definitions, concepts, and frameworks related to conflict-affected children. They will explore the place of the CAAC mandate in the protection architecture, gain a clear understanding of the six grave violations against children in conflict-affected settings while placing the topic in the broader context of related contemporary issues.

Week 2 – ‘Acting together to protect: a comprehensive approach to CAAC protection’

During week 2, participants will obtain essential skills and competencies through sessions on monitoring, analyzing and reporting, on ending, preventing and responding to grave violations against conflict-affected children, as well as on fostering accountability and combating impunity.

Expected learning outcomes:

1. Knowledge:

By the end of the VSS, the participants will be able to:

  • understand the CAAC mandate and how it relates to the broader protection architecture in international human rights and humanitarian law;
  • identify key relevant CAAC actors and mandates;
  • list and describe the six grave violations against CAAC;
  • understand links with other child rights violations, with children’s specific needs, with the broader work of various international, regional and national actors, and with further topical issues.

2. Competencies & skills:

By the end of the VSS, the participants will have gained skills towards:

  • monitoring and reporting on violations against CAAC;
  • engaging and negotiating with parties to conflict;
  • mainstreaming and integrating the CAAC agenda into various fora and sectors;
  • formulating a coordinated and holistic programmatic response, including on the reintegration of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups;
  • advocating on CAAC for and with children and communities in various settings;
  • initiating measures to prevent CAAC violations and combat impunity.


Venue: The VSS will take place entirely online (the course outline can be found here). A stable internet connection as well as respective equipment (an electronic device to connect, headphones, microphone and camera) will therefore be necessary.


  • The VSS will follow a policy-oriented approach to tutorials and will seek the engagement of participants. Throughout the course, theoretical modules will be complemented with applied, practice-oriented exercises.
  • The VSS will offer a dynamic learning environment engaging participants through active, experiential and collaborative techniques tailored to adult audiences and online teaching (live streaming presentations, interactive discussions, videos, and practical exercises, etc.);
  • The VSS will create and foster networking opportunities for the participants to connect with each other, as well as with the organizers, trainers and speakers.

Languages: The Virtual Summer School will be held in English. Real-time written translation (subtitles) into 50+ languages will be provided to enhance inclusivity and understanding.

Certificate: Participants who have attended at least 75% of the course and passed the final assessment will receive a certificate delivered by the organizers. No academic credits (ECTS) attached.


Target audience: The VSS targets selected professionals contributing or likely to contribute in various capacities to child protection in armed conflict and related issues, such as personnel of UN entities, governments, regional organizations, I/NGOs, legal professionals, journalists and communication officers, military, as well as academics and students meeting the admission requirements (~30 participants).

Admission requirements

Applicants must:

  • have a basic understanding of, and a professional interest in, the CAAC mandate;
  • hold at least a BA in Law, Political Science or International Relations, or bring equivalent professional experience in a relevant field;
  • have an advanced English level (C1 CEFR level);
  • commit to participate actively in the training;

Fees: The course is free of charge.

Selection process: Applicants will be selected based on the above criteria as well as considering a balanced representation of backgrounds, gender and geographical location.

APPLY NOW: Submit a resume and motivation letter demonstrating how you meet the above requirements at by 19 June 2022.

We look forward to receiving your application!