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Children's Security in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

1 June, 2007




 The Purpose and Structure of this Paper

 I. Background

 II. Why Children's Security Matters

 -- A. Child Rights and Preventing Wrongs

 -- B. Protecting Social Capital

 -- C. Demographics

 III. Governance and the Security Sector

 -- Defining the Security Sector

 -- Security Governance and Post-conflict Peacebuilding

 -- Addressing the Legacies of War

 IV. Conclusion


This paper aims to link child protection imperatives to security sector reform (SSR) activities in the context of post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery.

The importance of applying a security governance approach to the post-conflict peacebuilding agenda is presented, with children's security considerations at the fore. Specific elements of the post-conflict peacebuilding process, including Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR), rule of law and SSR, are then considered focusing on their relevance to children.

The emergence of the human security concept has marked an important shift away from the traditional notion of state security, towards the need to provide for the security of the individual. It has also established the important link between security, development and human rights, and consequently the special protection that children are entitled to under a range of international legal instruments.

An underlying theme of the paper is that states' legal obligations in this area provide an effective framework of standards for governing the delivering of security services to the population, and establish the security sector as key duty-bearers in assuring security to all, including children.

The paper was developed for the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict as a contribution to the 10-Year Strategic Review of the Machel Study.