Working For The Protection of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Groups
Globally, tens of thousands of children are associated with armed forces or armed groups (CAFAAG). Boys and girls join or are forced into it for a series of complex reasons, and when they attempt to return to civilian life, these children face significant challenges and require psychosocial and other support. Despite decades of efforts from international and national organizations, barriers to effective child reintegration exist for a series of complicated reasons - which ultimately mean children don’t get the support they need.
To address these challenges, the foundations for a Global Initiative on Child Reintegration have been established and designed to build on existing strengths, experiences, and capacities, harnessing and complementing existing efforts. Ultimately, the initiative wants ‘Every child associated with armed forces/groups to have access to high-quality, tailored, sustainable, preventative, and holistic reintegration support that fulfils their rights, prepares them for adulthood according to their aspirations, builds community and family resilience, and contributes to peace’.
A Child Frontiers team comprising Alexander Krueger, Aasmund Løk, Ghazal Keshavarzian, Gillian Mann, Josh Chaffin, and Raffaella Boschetti has been accompanying UNICEF on an eighteen-month project, core to which has been the facilitated design process of an inter-agency committee. Our team supported in different ways, from reviewing the wealth of literature and evidence on CAAFAG to facilitating the engagement with children and communities in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and Turkey, supporting the development of a global theory of change, a results measurement framework, a concept of its implementation modalities, a research agenda for
the global initiative, and considerations for engaging with donors.
In June 2023, we joined a high-level meeting of state members and donors in Oslo. At this meeting, UNICEF, along with War Child and Plan International, pledged to support the Global Initiative on Child Reintegration.