Cradled by Conflict: Implications for Programming

United Nations University, August 2018. 
Claudia Seymour

This Technical Note aims to help guide programming intended to prevent and address the recruitment and use of children by armed groups in today’s conflicts. It is an output of the United Nations University’s Children and Extreme Violence Project, which sought to fill key knowledge gaps about how and why children become associated with, are used by, and leave armed groups in contemporary conflicts, particularly those groups deemed “terrorist” or “violent extremist”. The project was a collaboration of UNU, UNICEF, DPKO, and the Governments of Luxembourg and Switzerland. This note is based on the research findings in UNU’s Cradled by Conflict: Child Involvement with Armed Groups in Contemporary Conflict (2018) and extensive consultations with practitioners and children to determine how existing programming and practice might be strengthened to respond to the particular challenges facing child protection practitioners in contemporary conflicts. The aim of this technical note is to supplement existing programming tools and literature for child protection practitioners and partners working on the prevention of child recruitment and use, and the release, and reintegration of children associated with armed forces or armed groups (CAAFAG) in contemporary conflict settings.