[Dateline: New York | Author: Office of the SRSG for Chidren and Armed Conflitc]
Joseph was born in 1978 in southern Sudan, Alima in 1989 in Afghanistan. Both share the same fate – having been internally displaced children in armed conflict. The two young adults will speak about their childhood impacted by constant flight, recruitment and family separation during the New York release of the Working Paper "The Rights and Guarantees of Internally Displaced Children in Armed Conflict" on Thursday, 21 October at 1 pm, CR 7 at the NLB.
The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict cordially invites all delegates and staff of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations to this event. Refreshments will be served.
The Working Paper depicts the special concerns that internally displaced children like Joseph and Alima face such as discrimination, access to education and health care, family unity, physical safety, increased risks of being recruited and sexually abused. The document serves as a comprehensive legal guide but also an advocacy tool when addressing the many dilemmas of internally displaced children. "I encourage member states and humanitarian actors including UN staff to make active use of this important document," the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy emphasizes.
The panel on Thursday will be opened by the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, Morten Wetland and includes an interactive dialogue with the former Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kälin, the current Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Chaloka Beyani, the two witnesses speaking about their childhood experiences as well as one of the authors of the paper. Ms. Coomaraswamy will chair the discussions.
The release will take place on Thursday, 21 October from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in CR 7 at the NLB, UN HQ New York.
About the Office
The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict was created in 1997 and serves as an independent advocate for the protection and well-being of boys and girls affected by armed conflict. Within its mandate, the Office proposes approaches to enhance the protection of children and builds awareness of the rights of these children. The Office does not have a field presence but promotes and supports the efforts of operational partners. Since 2006 Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy assumed the position of Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.