|© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2036/Susan Markisz|
|On 27 September 2010, (right) UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War Ishmael Beah speaks at a panel discussion on the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups. Beside him is UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.|
The Paris commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups were adopted at the international conference ‘Free children from war’ in Paris, February 2007. Together, they consolidate global humanitarian knowledge and experience in working to prevent recruitment, protect children, support their release from armed forces or armed groups and reintegrate them into civilian life. The Paris commitments and Paris principles build on the seminal Cape Town principles and best practices on the recruitment of children into the armed forces and on demobilization and social reintegration of child soldiers in Africa (Cape Town principles) which were adopted in 1997.
UNICEF, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Government of France have hosted annual ministerial follow-up forums since 2007 during the UN General Assembly Session in collaboration with members of the Paris principles steering group. Co-chaired by UNICEF and Save the Children, the Paris principles steering group encourages governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society to follow the Paris commitments and the Paris principles and guidelines in all funding, advocacy and programming for the care and protection of children associated with armed forces or armed groups.
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