African Union: PSC meeting on the protection of children in conflict

Child soldiers at a disarmament ceremony in South Sudan Child soldiers at a disarmament ceremony in South Sudan The Strait Times

01 December 2020

Silencing the Guns: deradicalization and education at the forefront of the PSC of the AU’s 965th meeting on the protection of children in conflict. 

On 19 November 2020, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) held its 965th meeting on the protection of children in conflict situations in Africa.

The communiqué adopted by the PSC acknowledged a rise in unconventional armed conflicts involving violent extremism and terrorist attacks on the Continent. Concern was expressed over the radicalization and recruitment of children as child soldiers and suicide bombers by terrorist groups. As well as concern of children’s personal, social, and cognitive development, the communiqué emphasised that the impact of such armed conflict is a violation and abuse of children’s “welfare, and deprives them of their human dignity and agency towards the development of the Continent.” The communiqué called for all Member States to double their efforts to investigate and prosecute all violations against children’s rights and welfare. Moreover, it was asserted that implementation of the “AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the Year 2020” emphasises the need to create a robust follow up and evaluation framework for assessing the progress of decisions adopted for the protection of children affected by conflict and crises. 

Education and access to school was asserted as a priority in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) efforts. The communiqué recognised that education is crucial in achieving the Agenda 2063 and reaching the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Attacks on civilian properties, particularly schools and health facilities, as well as the unlawful occupation of schools by armed actors and use of these school facilities for military purposes was strongly condemned. Furthermore, the communiqué asserted the importance of institutionalizing “a child protection architecture” which aims to prevent the stigmatization of children affected by armed conflict that treats them as threats instead of victims.This includes involving children in all deradicalization, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration efforts.


To know more, visit:


Author: Catherine Gregoire

Read 542 times