The Vancouver Principles On Peacekeeping and Preventing the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers

UN Photo | Marie Frechon

MONUC Peacekeeper Holds Child's Hand

About the Vancouver Principles

On Preventing the Use and Recruitment of Child Soldiers

The purpose of the Vancouver Principles is to prioritize and further operationalize child protection within UN peacekeeping with a focus on preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

By endorsing the Vancouver Principles Member States acknowledge the unique challenges posed by child soldiers and help ensure that their peacekeepers are prepared to prevent their recruitment and use in the context of peacekeeping operations. In so doing, they help ensure that children are kept off the battlefield and out of harm’s way; enhance operational effectiveness of peacekeepers thereby increasing the likelihood that they will fulfill their mandates; and reduce the incidence of mental trauma among their peacekeepers.

The Vancouver Principles are designed to build upon and complement the existing framework on peacekeeping and child protection, including the Paris Principles and relevant Security Council resolutions, among others. First, and above all, the Vancouver Principles specify actions that Member States may undertake regarding training, planning, and the conduct of their own national forces, be they police or military, in a peacekeeping context. The Vancouver Principles therefore cover a critical gap in policies and military and police doctrine for preventing the recruitment of children and responding to child soldiers encountered in the course of peacekeeping.

Frequently Asked Questions: The Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and Preventing the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers

What are the Vancouver Principles?

The Vancouver Principles are a set of political commitments endorsed by Member States regarding the prevention of recruitment and use of child soldiers in a peacekeeping context.

What is the purpose of the Vancouver Principles?

The purpose of the Vancouver Principles is to prioritize and further operationalize child protection within UN peacekeeping with a focus on preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Who are the Vancouver Principles aimed at?

The Vancouver Principles are geared toward troop and police contributors operating under a UN peacekeeping mandates. However, many of the themes underlying the principles can be applicable military and police operating outside a UN peacekeeping context.

Why are they called the Vancouver Principles?

The Vancouver Principles were formally adopted on 15 November 2017 on the margins of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver, Canada.

 

Who can endorse the Vancouver Principles?

The Vancouver Principles are open to all UN Member States, regardless if they are currently troop or police contributing countries.

 

How were the Vancouver Principles developed?

The Vancouver Principles were conceived by the Government of Canada in partnership with the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and developed in consultation with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNICEF, the Special Representative to the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, child protection actors and civil society partners, and UN Member States.

 

Full FAQ Here Check out the full Frequently Asked Questions Here

Changing Attitudes and Behaviour in Peacekeeping

Through proactive, targeted and preventative training ensures that the security sector is able to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers in the field effectively. This approach is breaking new ground and is a critical part of interrupting the cycle of recruitment of children by armed groups. This prevention-oriented training ensures a response by the security sector actor that is just right and protects all those involved—from the peacekeeper to the child.

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