Putting Children's Rights Up Front

Our advocacy efforts focus on creating policy change at the highest levels of governments and organizations such as the United Nations and NATO. Through putting children’s rights up front, we build momentum towards protecting societies most vulnerable while creating a point of collaboration for the international community to rally around.

Protecting society's most vulnerable – children

With nearly 250 million children living in conflict-affected countries, there is an urgent need for more effective protection as children fall prey to recruitment and use by armed forces and groups, killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, and other grave violations of their rights. All parties to armed conflict must be held accountable for committing grave violations against children.

The Dallaire Initiative, along with strategic partners, aims to undertake a children’s rights upfront approach that aims to highlight the specific needs children require while build international momentum to protect the rights of societies’ most vulnerable.


Through focusing on high-level advocacy, we directly influence and work with policy makers to create international norms, legislation and guidelines. Coupled with our unique security sector approach we are opening dialogue and demonstrating areas where teamwork is essential for success between militaries, police and peacekeepers, humanitarians, and policy makers.

To guide our advocacy efforts, the Dallaire Initiative applies lessons and information established through our research and training. This ensures that our advocacy is grounded in rigourous research and will have a direct impact on the lived experiences of those working in the field and the children who continue to be affected by war.

Collaboration is a cornerstone of our international advocacy approach. We amplify our advocacy efforts through strategic partnerships with key partners that strengthen our collective voice. Together with the guidance of celebrated humanitarian retired lieutenant general Roméo Dallaire and renowned academic and practitioner Dr. Shelly Whitman, we continue to ensure that children’s rights up brought to the fore of the international response to conflict.



How we do it

Our Impact

Our advocacy efforts continue to have a direct impact on the policy and procedures that guide discussions and action for children affected by armed conflict.

A few of our advocacy highlights include:

  • Influencing two United Nations Security Council Solutions, Resolution 2143 and Resolution 2151
  • Working with NATO to develop new standard operating procedures on children and armed conflict and while influencing new training on this subject.
  • Working with the AU to create new standards and capacity for child protection within AU peacekeeping missions.
  • Participating within the world summit in Slovenia on the Responsibility to Protect, where we presented to the international community the concept of child soldiers as an early warning indicator for mass atrocity.

The Dallaire Initiative continues to be a leading voice in bringing militaries, police and peacekeepers into the solution of ending the use of children as weapons of war. This includes ensuring ongoing security sector reform to address the threat of child soldiers, equipping militaries, police and peacekeepers with tools and knowledge to prevent the use of children as weapons of war and ensure collaboration between security and humanitarian interventions.


Help us end the use of children as weapons of war