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Preventative Strategies for Children and Armed Conflict: Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1612 and Other Policies
The Canadian Peace building Network: Forum on Children and Armed Conflict
Kathy Vandergrift
25 November 2008

Kathy Vandergrift is the Policy Director of World Vision Canada. World Vision is a Christian relief, developmental, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with families, communities and children to fight poverty and injustice worldwide.

In the last ten years, international norms and policy statements on child protection have become much stronger. () On February 12, 2008, the most recent Security Council Presidential Statement on Children and Armed Conflict included the following statement: he Security Council stresses, in this regard, the need to adopt a broad strategy of conflict prevention, which addresses the root causes of armed conflict in a comprehensive manner, in order to enhance the protection of children on a long-term basis, including by promoting sustainable development, poverty eradication, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, rule of law, and respect for and protection of human rights. (S/PRST/2008/6) Protection starts and ends with prevention, and it includes both preventing harm to children and conflict prevention.

The concept of Responsibility to Protect, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2005, gives a high priority to prevention. he Responsibility to Protect, states the report by that name, mplies an accompanying Responsibility to Prevent. But here remains a gap between the rhetoric and financial and political support for prevention. The purpose of this initiative is to focus attention on that gap and propose preventive strategies for inclusion in international programs of action on Children and Armed Conflict. The goal is twofold: (1) Strengthen the preventive impact of measures being taken to implement Security Council Resolution 1612 on children and armed conflict; and (2) Strengthen the focus on children in other policies and programs that have potential for preventing harm to children and preventing violent conflict.

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