The International Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict will be held at the University of Granada from 21 to 22 March 2019. The conference will take place within the framework of the research project entitled ‘Protection of Children in Armed Conflict’, which is jointly financed by the Ministry of Economy and Business and the European Regional Development Fund.
Despite the progress made in recent years as part of the global campaign to put an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers, an alarming number of children are still being exploited as sex slaves and as soldiers during armed conflicts. The Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict came into force in 2002, representing a huge milestone for the protection of children. However, while this was an important step, the extent of the human rights abuses that thousands of children fall victim to every day calls for additional responses.
The International Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict aims to tackle a range of pressing contemporary issues such as the comprehensive inclusion of the protection of children in UN Mandates and the effective training of UN staff and services; the development and coordination of an action plan covering everything from demobilisation to reintegration (focusing especially on girl soldiers); and capacity building designed to strengthen the international legal and judicial system. By enhancing this international system, the fight against the impunity of states will become more effective and the implementation of action plans on reintegration and rehabilitation will gain greater global support.
The overriding objective is to bring an end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers, ensuring greater respect for the fundamental rights of children exposed to violent situations, both when they are in their home countries and abroad. This is by no means an easy task, but given the dire circumstances in which thousands of children currently find themselves in, it is one that calls for urgent and decisive action. Moreover, since the current international legal framework is yet to be properly completed and implemented, multidisciplinary perspectives that draw on different spheres are essential in order to successfully undertake this task. The International Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict will bring together leading scholars and consultants proffering precisely these multidisciplinary approaches.
If you wish to participate as a speaker at the conference, the call for proposals will be open until 8 February 2019.
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