Protect Children in Conflict

Around the world, millions of children are battling through conflicts started by adults. From Syria to Somalia, Yemen to Myanmar, twice as many children grow up in conflict than did 30 years ago. It's time to make them off limits in war.

At our best, we the British people, have achieved amazing things. We’ve stood up to bullies. We’ve supported the underdog. We’ve set the rights of children in stone. We’ve led by example.

It’s time for us to do what’s right again.

Children need our government to create a plan to keep them safe in war. They had one in the past, but it expired in 2013. That’s not good enough for children.

Put protecting children back at the heart of what we stand for.

Call on our government to create a plan to protect children.

Together, through words and actions, we can send a message to the world again;

Children are the future. And the future is worth fighting for.

Fahad*, 12, in his school in West Mosul which was damaged extensively during the fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS.

What's the plan?

The first practical step is for the UK Government to create a strategy to protect children, which lays out how they will keep children safe in war.

We had one in the past, but the old plan – the 'Protection of Civilians' Strategy – expired in 2013. That’s not good enough for children. The new strategy must:

THE NEW STRATEGY MUST:

This should include preventative measures to stop children being affected by conflict in the first place, to ensure their access to education, to look after their mental health, and to ensure they receive the aid they need during and after conflicts to rehabilitate them.

This strategy must commit the UK to consistently upholding the highest international standards and laws to protect civilians, raising these issues through bilateral and multilateral engagement, speaking out to strengthen international policy and best practices and sharing those practices with others.

This must include the increasing use of explosive weapons in populated areas, the increasing urbanisation of conflict, and the increasing disregard for international law.

This new strategy must also create and support mechanisms to track and record the harm caused to children and other civilians by conflict, and encourage other nations to do the same.

The strategy must be timebound, with transparent and meaningful reviews occurring regularly throughout its lifetime.

What you can do