Virtual Summer School on Child Protection in Armed Conflict – Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

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

Background and rationale: While a number of courses on peace and security, international humanitarian law and human rights and child protection deal with CAAC, there is to date no benchmark training that deals specifically and comprehensively with the protection of children in armed conflict. The “child protection referent/advisor” profile is a very technical but also political role, requiring specialized training. The mandate of the CAAC is one of partnership and collaboration involving many professionals from different backgrounds, for whom dedicated training on the CAAC is just as relevant. The VSS offers an introductory course on Child Protection in Armed Conflict designed to meet these needs by providing cutting-edge training on this topic.

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


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

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

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

During week 1, participants will become familiar with relevant definitions, concepts and frameworks related to children affected by conflict. They will explore the place of the CAAC mandate in the protection architecture, gaining a clear understanding of the six grave violations against children in conflict situations while placing the subject in the broader context of related contemporary issues.

Week 2 – “Act together protect: a comprehensive approach to the protection of CAACs »

During week 2, participants will learn critical skills and competencies through sessions on monitoring, analyzing and reporting, ending, preventing and responding to grave violations against children affected by conflict , as well as on the promotion of accountability and the fight against impunity.

Expected learning outcomes:

1. Knowledge:

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

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

2. Skills & know-how:

By the end of the VSS, participants will have acquired skills to:

  • monitor and report violations against the CAAC;
  • dialogue and negotiate with the parties to the conflict;
  • embed and integrate the CAAC program into various forums and sectors;
  • formulate a coordinated and holistic programmatic response, including on the reintegration of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups;
  • advocate for CAAC for and with children and communities in various contexts;
  • take action to prevent CAAC violations and fight impunity.

Venue: The VSS will run entirely on line. A stable internet connection as well as respective equipment (an electronic device to be connected, a headset, a microphone and a camera) will therefore be necessary.


  • The VSS will follow a policy oriented approaches the tutorials and will look for the commitment some participants. Throughout the course, theoretical the modules will be complemented by applied and practice-oriented courses exercises.
  • The VSS will provide a dynamic learning environment engaging participants through active, experiential and collaborative techniques suitable for adult audiences and online teaching (presentations broadcast live, interactive discussions, videos and practical exercises, etc.);
  • The VSS will create and encourage networking opportunities for participants to connect with each other, as well as with organizers, trainers and speakers.

Languages: The Virtual Summer School will be held at English. Writes in real time Translation (subtitles) in over 50 languages ​​will be provided to enhance inclusiveness and understanding.

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

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

Conditions of admission

Applicants must:

  • have a basic understanding and professional interest in the mandate of the CAAC;
  • hold at least a bachelor’s degree in law, political science or international relations, or bring equivalent professional experience in a relevant field;
  • have an advanced level of English (level C1 CEFR);
  • commit to actively participate in the training;

Costs: The course is free costs.

Selection process: Candidates will be selected based on the above criteria and taking into account a balanced representation of origins, gender and geographical location.

APPLY NOW: Submit a resume and cover letter demonstrating how you meet the above requirements to [email protected] before June 19, 2022.

We look forward to receiving your application!

The project coordinator is Ms Sabrina CajolyProgram Management Officer at the Liaison Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict – Europe.

For more information about the Virtual Summer School, contact: [email protected]