Five Reasons to Constitute Peace Processes with Structural Foci on Children's Rights

These five reasons are distilled from Law of Peace(making) and Children's International Human Rights

1. Children are mostly invisible in the successive processes and resultant agreements that constitute peacemaking. Its extremity is laid bare by a cursory review of collections of peace agreements. Of the close to eight hundred peace agreements in the United Nations database, ninety-five include a reference to children, for example.

2. Yet there is an international legal obligation to affirm children’s  standing as subject of human rights and give effect to those rights in the successive processes and through the resultant agreements that constitute peacemaking, as recalled by treaty and Charter bodies.

The adoption of any law or regulation as well as collective agreements — such as bilateral or multilateral trade or peace treaties which affect children — should be governed by the best interests of the child.
— Committee on the Rights of the Child, The Right of the Child to have his or her Best Interests Taken as a Primary Consideration, General Comment No. 14, § para. 31, May 29, 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/GC/14.
[The Security Council] calls upon all concerned parties to ensure that the protection, rights and well-being of children are integrated into the peace processes, peace agreements and the post-conflict recovery and reconstruction phases.
— UN Security Council Resolution 1460, §para. 12 2003, UN Doc. SC/Res/1460.

3. Constituting the process with structural foci on children’s rights ensures children's standing as subjects of human rights is qualified (i.e., officially recognised) and accorded significance in the process: minimally that their rights are performative (i.e., seized, shaped and expressed) in the same, and more optimally given legal effect through the resultant agreements.

4. It may therefore have broader dignifying, legal, protective and rights multiplying effects: the specificity of these may shift as the substantive focus of the process evolves from halting violations of international human rights (and if applicable humanitarian rules) in the nascent stages to giving effect to human rights through the transforming law in the latter stages.    

5.  Giving effect to human rights generally and children’s rights specifically is mostly interdependent with the pursuance of peace: it is exigent to the efficacy and legitimacy of the successive processes and resultant agreements.