It was an honor to speak today on “Children and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda,” my contribution to a year-long “WPS@20” seminar series hosted by the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster.
As its title indicates, the series, which began in February, has featured numerous speakers’ reflections on the WPS Agenda, which began with the passage on October 31, 2000, of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security. Since that date this agenda has inspired a range of activities, in the United Nations (as depicted in this UN Women 20-year timeline) and other international organizations, and also in nongovernmental organizations and academia.
My contribution to the series benefited greatly from the team of University of Georgia School of Law student researchers with whom I worked this summer, and to whom I am very grateful: Zoe Ferguson (JD’20), 3L Charles Wells, and 2Ls Courtney Hogan and Michael Ramirez.
This online seminar focused not on women, but on an adjunct constituency cited in Resolution 1325; that is, on children. Here’s the abstract:
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security contains more than a dozen mentions of young people; to be precise, it refers twice to “women and children” and more than a dozen times to “women and girls.” Since the resolution’s adoption 20 years ago this week, many initiatives have arisen to combat conflict-related harms to children. These include the Children and Armed Conflict Agenda launched by Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) and other inter- and non-governmental efforts. This seminar will evaluate the WPS resolution, 20 years on, as a child-rights instrument. Consideration of the interim initiatives will help frame that assessment, as will evolving understandings of children’s sexual and gender identities, of children’s agency and children’s autonomy – all factors that may counsel against too-quick conjoinments of “children,” or “girls,” with “women.”
A rich set of questions followed my presentation. Ably moderating was Dr Catherine O’Rourke, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights/International Law at Ulster Law and TJI’s Gender Research Coordinator, to whom I am grateful for the invitation to speak.