Principles for Giving Effect to Children's Rights in Peacemaking* 

These principles aim to support duty bearers (i.e., parties to peace(making)) to comply with their obligations, and children and their representatives to claim their rights. 

Principle 1: The emergent human rights and juristic context that brings peace processes into being generates a sui generis form of transformative lawmaking.

Principle 2:  The applicability of international human rights law to the process offers a legal basis for actively affirming children's standing as subjects of human rights 'in' and 'through' the same. 

Principle 3: Three rights hold particular significance:

(i) the right for children's rights to be qualified (i.e., officially recognised) in the process; 

(ii) the right for their best interests to be assessed, determined and considered as a primary consideration in the same; and

(iii) the right for their views to be freely expressed, and given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity on matters affecting them. 

Principle 4: Giving effect to children's rights begins by constituting the process with structural mechanisms to ensure children's standing as subjects of human rights is qualified (i.e., officially recognised) and accorded significance in the same. It is a prerequisite to ensuring their broader rights are performative (i.e., seized, shaped and expressed) and more optimally given effect through the resultant agreements. 

Principle 5: The applicability of international human rights law is supported by its meta-juridical performativity: claims may for example be intuited from the rights deprivation of the past and/or political self-interest of legitimation and safeguarding existing rights.

Principle 6: Like the progression of the process more broadly, the enabling power of legal and political imagination is a key driver for giving effect to Principles 3 and 4. 

*Summary Version. The principles are distilled from Law of Peace(making) and Children's Rights.

Syria's iNvisible 43%

UNICEF Picture, Anon., Child.