UNICEF’s Change Agenda

A change agenda for protecting children in armed conflict

A woman carries a child in Iraq

UNICEF calls for protection of children in armed conflict

It is not inevitable that children are targeted in conflict, or that deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against children are a by-product of conflict. It is not inevitable that warring parties block and deny life-saving assistance to children, or that millions of children are on the cusp of death due to severe acute malnutrition, are forced to drink dirty, unsafe water and face outbreaks of deadly diseases, or are forced out of school for their entire childhoods.

UNICEF calls on all warring parties concerned to:

Stop all attacks – deliberate and indiscriminate – that kill and maim children.
Stop all sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence against children.
Stop attacks on education, including attacks on and threats to students, teachers, on schools as well as the use of schools for military purposes.
Stop attacks on healthcare, including health workers and hospitals and health facilities.
Stop attacks on water and sanitation facilities and personnel.
Stop recruiting children into armed forces and groups; and support reintegration of children back into their communities.
Stop the detention of children allegedly associated with armed groups and forces – release children into protection services and support reintegration into their communities.
Stop denying children in emergencies access to life-saving humanitarian assistance: reach every child in need.