The African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS), at its fourteenth ordinary meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 9 to 13 May 2022, adopted two important policies to protecting and improving the well-being of children in situations of armed conflict in Africa. These are (i) the Policy on Child Protection in African Union Peace Support Operations; and (ii) the Policy for Mainstreaming Child Protection into the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
These instruments are an important step in responding to grave violations of children’s rights in conflict situations in Africa. They aim to integrate child protection into the institutional responses of the African Union (AU), from peacemaking to peacebuilding, and to ensure child protection in support operations to mandated, authorized or approved by the AU to prevent violations against children in armed conflict and to promote accountability in mission areas.
During the adoption, HE Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security and Co-Organizer of the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict (AP CAAC), highlighted that “these instruments underscore the commitment of the political organs of the AU such as the Assembly and the Peace and Security Council, which have adopted decisions calling for the strengthening of the protection of children in situations of conflict and the promotion of children’s rights in Africa’s peace, security and development programmes”.
HE Ambassador Jainaba Jagne, Permanent Representative of the Republic of The Gambia and co-host of the CAAC AP, added that “The policies also contribute to the realization of the commitments set out in the African Union Agenda 2063, which is strongly committed to building an Africa that is worthy of its children and also to investing in childhoods worthy of a peaceful, prosperous and fully integrated Africa.
Prior to the STCDSS, the Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 1070th meeting, held virtually on 29 March 2022, reviewed the two policy documents and recommended them for adoption by the relevant STC. The PSC stressed that the adoption of the policy instruments would contribute to the efforts of the AU to address the impact of protracted conflicts and the scourge of terrorism on children, including killings, abductions, family separation , trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse, recruitment into armed forces and armed groups, malnutrition, disease and attacks on schools and health facilities.
It is therefore in this context that the African Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflict (AP CAAC), in collaboration with Save the Children International, in its capacity as Secretariat of the Platform, jointly welcomes the adoption by the STCDSS of these policies, considering it a milestone and a step in the right direction. They call for full and effective implementation of these policies with commensurate resources.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Isabela Warioba, Senior Policy Officer, Protection of Children in Conflict Situations, | Email: [email protected] | Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security | African Union Commission | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For media inquiries, please contact:
Mr. Paschal Chem-Langhee, Communications Officer | Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security | African Union Commission | Email: [email protected] | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission I Email: [email protected]