Children in armed conflict, Every Last Child

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Photo credit: Save the Children

Today, 26 April 2016, Save the Children is launching its global campaign ‘Every last Child’. The global launch will build a national and international dialogue on the most excluded children through a series of national advocacy, mobilisation and child led campaign activities.

‘Among the objectives of the launch is to reposition Save the Children as the organization that will do whatever it takes to save the world’s most vulnerable children and introducing the public to the Every Last Child campaign.

What does this campaign mean for war affected children?

The world is currently facing numerous conflicts. Many innocent children are victims of these conflicts facing serious negative war effects. The effects include, family separations, disruption of education, sexual exploitation and rape, recruitment as child soldiers, physical injuries, emotional turmoil among many others.

War affected children contribute to a huge population of vulnerable children, these children have a myriad of needs that certainly require the global attention.

Save the Children, through training of peace support operations personnel who include, police, military and the civilian, in child protection is working to ensure that children are protected before, during and after conflict. These trainings aim to ensure that these actors have the necessary capacity in terms of knowledge and skills to respond to issues of child protection enabling them to handle children with care and efficiency.

Through the project, ‘Strengthening Child Protection in African Union Peace Support Operations in East and West Africa’, Save the Children has developed a training curriculum on child protection with the aim of operationalizing it within the African Standby Force. This process will see the peace supports operations personnel undergo a standardized and mandatory pre-deployment training.

Child protection training of trainers for military personnel

From 25 April – 6 May 2016, the project will be conducting a training of trainers for the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) in Jinja, Uganda. The military is central to child protection, how the military treats and responds to children they encounter during the mission has the capacity to impact the entire lifetime of the child, for the good or for the bad. Besides equipping the trainees with the capacity to transfer knowledge and skills to other military personnel on child rights and child protection, the training aims to encourage UPDF to adopt the training manual for its future trainings and needs.

By ensuring that the military, police and civilian have the rights capacity to handle children in conflict situation, we are ensuring that the needs of these vulnerable children are addressed and respected. By operationalization of the training curriculum within the African Standy Force, we will be ensuring that responses are done in a more harmonized and coordinated manner reaching out to more children and achieving greater impact.

Children affected by conflict require everybody’s attention, we need to ensure that their needs are high on the agenda of all key stakeholders. In the midst of armed conflict and peace restoration, these vulnerable children need a chance to survive, learn and be protected.

‘We are doing whatever it takes to reach the world’s most excluded children. With your help we can get the world to put excluded children first and tackle the barriers that prevent them from surviving, learning and being protected. We won’t stop until every last child survives and fulfils their potential. Save the Children

Visit the campaign website for more information: https://campaigns.savethechildren.net/

 Article by Evelyn Namvua, knowledge management coordinator, Save the Children East and Southern Africa regional office

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