Believing in the possibility of an inclusive peace; affirming the dignity of Syria’s children

As the Syrian conflict unfolds across our multiple screens, the possibility of peace is both deeply held and unimaginable: a barely spoken force in the hearts of those made vulnerable; yet as unimaginable as those same harms committed by both sides. Perhaps the greatest challenge is of hope: believing ‘a further shore /Is reachable from here’.*

As the peace agreements multiply — move from the Geneva to the London 11 Communiqué — the prospect of Geneva II (planned for the 22nd January 2014) may seem more like an international force (pun intended) than a beacon of hope. History tells us though to believe: the form of its resolution is simply unimagined — as yet.

There is another challenge though: interconnected, but unlike the transformation of conflict to peace, as yet unrealised (or only partially) by history. The challenge of asking the child question: ensuring children’s rights ‘in’ and ‘through’ the process. History may tell us to ‘believe…’ but it also tells us the transformation is often partial — that children particularly are likely to be invisible within decision-making towards peace agreements.