Armed Conflict: Children:Written question - 554

Q
(Woking)
Asked on: 15 October 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Armed Conflict: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support children in conflict zones throughout the world.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 22 October 2019

​The UK is firmly committed to protecting all children affected by conflict and in particular ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The UK is the largest single financial contributor to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), contributing £800,000 over the last five years to her Office and £450,000 for the 2019/20 financial year in support of her mandate. The UK is an active member of the United Nations Working Group on CAAC which leads the international response on child protection, supporting the SRSG's work by applying diplomatic pressure to listed governments and armed groups.

In 2018, the UK endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, a political commitment to reduce the impact of conflict on education, and the Vancouver Principles, a political commitment to operationalise child protection during the conduct of United Nations peacekeeping operations. We continue to support these key instruments. The UK is mainstreaming child protection into its own military deployments through bespoke training. Through the Department for International Development, we are one of the largest bilateral donors to "Education Cannot Wait", an initiative which protects access to education for children in conflict zones.

In November 2019, the UK will host an international conference on preventing sexual violence in conflict. A key focus will be how we can better support children born of sexual violence in conflict, including tackling stigma.

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