The UN Security Council addressed the situation of children in armed conflict on 13 February 2023. Violent conflicts have a catastrophic impact on children and young people across the globe. Millions of children and young people are affected and deprived of their future prospects.
The issue of children in armed conflicts is closely linked to two of the Swiss Security Council priorities including "protecting civilians" and "promoting sustainable peace". In the Council and through its foreign policy, Switzerland pursues three dimensions of action to mitigate the consequences of conflicts on children. "This Council has developed numerous tools to prevent grave violations. For these tools to maintain their deterrent effect, their independence, impartiality, and credibility must be preserved", said Swiss UN Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl at the Security Council in New York.
First: Switzerland is committed to ensuring that children are better protected in conflicts. One way it does this is by supporting a United Nations system that documents serious violations in armed conflicts. The UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict reviews these and makes recommendations for possible measures to better protect children. Secondly, for sustainable peace to have a chance, children must be reintegrated into society after their involvement in an armed conflict. Switzerland promotes the transition to civilian life. In addition to having a safe place to live, psychosocial support as well as educational and professional opportunities are key for concerned children. Thirdly: Switzerland is committed to ensuring that children and young people have access to education despite conflicts. Through education, children can realise their full potential, develop their skills and restore a sense of normality and security.
"By seeking to ensure that children have access to education and are reintegrated into society after a conflict, we are making an important contribution to lasting peace and prosperity," says Ambassador Simon Geissbühler, Head of the Peace and Human Rights Division at the FDFA.