Understanding Legal Terms and Concepts Regarding Child Protection in Armed Conflict


Armed Conflict
News by AUN News correspondent
Sunday, July 30, 2023
AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090


  • In the haunting realm of armed conflicts, innocent children find themselves ensnared in a nightmarish reality, facing the atrocities of abduction.
  • This grave act involves forcibly snatching children from their homes and communities, denying them their fundamental right to protection and safety.
  • These young souls, thrust into a world of uncertainty, become vulnerable to exploitation and abuse amidst the chaos of conflict.
  • The glossary of legal terms and concepts offers a ray of hope in understanding child protection in armed conflicts.
  • It sheds light on critical international laws, including international humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL), international refugee law (IRL), international criminal law (ICL), and more.
  • These laws serve as a foundation for safeguarding children’s rights, holding perpetrators accountable, and ensuring justice.


Armed conflicts affect many innocent lives in regions of the world where there are many wars. Unexpectedly, 449 million children, or one in every six, must deal with the challenging aspects of living in a battle zone. These children regularly have their rights violated as a result of the actions of State and non-State parties participating in armed conflicts, which causes them a variety of problems. It is a shocking realization that 24,300 serious violations against minors were recorded by the United Nations (UN) in 2022. Aside from the willful rejection of humanitarian aid, these violations also resulted in murders, maimings, sexual assaults, kidnappings, and the loss of vital facilities like hospitals and schools.

The issue’s scope is kids in conflict zones.

Children are drastically and widely affected by armed violence. They suffer serious emotional and bodily wounds as a result of their experiences. Children who grow up in hostile circumstances face constant dangers such as exploitation, child labor, and deprivation of basic needs. Despite the challenging conditions they face, it is critical to protect their rights and guarantee their welfare.

Grave Violations Against Children in 2022, according to the United Nations.

In 2022, the UN documented a startling number of serious crimes against children in conflict zones. The abuses covered a wide range of wrongdoings, from physical pain to psychological distress. In order to draw attention to the dreadful situation and demand improved protections for children during armed situations, the UN has documented these crimes.

An expert team has painstakingly compiled an exhaustive vocabulary of legal terms related to the kidnapping and deportation of children in an effort to create a broader understanding of child protection in times of armed conflict. The offered glossary gives readers clear definitions of key phrases together with references to the terminology’s legal status under various international laws. These include the United Nations Security Council resolutions, customary international law, international refugee law, international human rights law, international criminal law, and other pertinent publications.


Since kidnapping in the context of armed conflicts conjures up a horrible vision of vulnerable lives being torn apart, the very idea of kidnapping makes one apprehensive. Abduction is the tragic act of taking a child against their will, usually from the security of their home or the embrace of their community. A heinous crime that is shrouded in secrecy. In this uncanny violation of their own essence, the light of optimism is muted, and the shadows of terror loom large.

Imagine for a moment that the purity of childhood has been gone and replaced by a cruel reality where gunfire drowns out laughter and parental love is swapped out for the icy grip of uncertainty. The action in question has blatantly breached their fundamental right to safety and protection, leaving children unprotected and vulnerable in a violent and unstable world.

These young individuals are thrust into a nightmare scenario in the midst of hostilities, where their hopes for a better future are dashed and their childhood fantasies are reduced to distant illusions. They become pawns in a deadly game they never consented to play and are stuck between powers they hardly comprehend.

For these abducted children, the struggle for survival takes on a completely new level. While their tears dry, they must proceed on a perilous trek that is rife with potential traps and dangers. Armed groups or unscrupulous individuals capture them, and they run the terrible risk of having their innocence tarnished by terrible tragedies.

Despite the darkness, there is a glimmer of optimism that everyone will band together to protect these helpless souls. Nations and communities must come together in response to their suffering in order to safeguard them from the horrors of kidnapping and ensure their safe return to the arms of their loved ones.

We must never lose sight of the fact that every child deserves a childhood—a time of wonder, play, and education—in spite of these struggles. We must work together to safeguard them and foster an environment that will revive their aspirations.

As we seek to end the cycle of violence and put light on their lives, let us remember that these victims’ resilience and strength are beacons of hope in the darkest of times. We must act as guardians of their security, upholders of their rights, and architects of a future free from the menacing shadow of kidnapping.

In our efforts to make the world safer and more just, we must never forget that protecting children from kidnapping is a moral duty. Their laughter must echo through the ages, telling us that by the power of our kindness and love, we have triumphed over evil.

Together, let’s go on a path of compassion and unity, laying the groundwork for a time when the horrors of kidnapping are a thing of the past. Because it is the right of every child to develop in a serene setting that accepts them and stands by them in times of need.


Deported children are taken from their native country or region and transferred to another location or country against their will. This action exposes children to assault and human trafficking, in addition to disturbing their lives.

International human rights law

International humanitarian law (IHL) covers the laws and regulations that apply to armed conflict. It establishes guidelines for the conduct of parties engaged in hostilities and seeks to protect those not engaged in hostilities, such as civilians and children.

IHRL, or international human rights law

Regardless of age, country, or circumstance, every person has inherent rights and dignity that international human rights law (IHRL) protects. It underlines States’ obligations to protect children’s welfare and safety during armed conflict.

IRL (International Refugee Law)

International refugee law (IRL) guarantees the rights and protection of those who have been forced to flee their homes due to hostilities or persecution. It provides the legal framework for defending the rights of displaced children.

(ICL) International Criminal Law

Holding offenders accountable for serious transnational crimes, such as those committed against children during armed conflict, is the main objective of international criminal law (ICL). It aims to hold criminals accountable for their actions.

Resolutions of the UN Security Council

Resolutions passed by the UN Security Council are essential for addressing and resolving disputes all around the world. These resolutions may call for safeguards for children’s safety and welfare during armed conflict.

International Customary Law

The term “customary international law” refers to accepted norms and established procedures around the world. It significantly influences how children in armed conflict are legally protected.

Justification in International Law

International law serves as the framework for defending children’s rights during armed conflict. It outlines the duties of State and non-State parties to protect children’s safety and welfare.

Relevant Case Law and Interpretative Research

The jurisprudence and interpretive work of international courts and monitoring mechanisms aid in understanding and implementing child protection legislation during armed conflicts. These organizations aid in the clarification of legal ideas and guarantee their uniform application.

Relevance of Dispute Resolution and Monitoring Mechanisms

Mechanisms for monitoring and adjudicating abuses against children in armed situations are essential for keeping offenders accountable. These systems aid in preventing future wrongdoing by providing justice and accountability.

References to Other Terminology

For a thorough understanding of child safety in armed conflicts, it is crucial to comprehend the relationships between various legal phrases and concepts. The dictionary strives to make these relationships more understandable.

The Function of Media and Civil Society Organizations

The media and civil society organizations are crucial in promoting child protection in violent crises. Their efforts to draw attention to infractions and raise awareness encourage people to support significant change.

Making Certain That International Law Frameworks Are Effectively Implemented

The proper use of international legal frameworks and mechanisms is essential for safeguarding children in conflict areas. To guarantee that these rules are implemented and upheld, policymakers, local experts, and international organizations must cooperate.


It is regrettable how much damage conflicts inflict on children. In order to protect the rights and welfare of these defenseless people, we, as global citizens, must cooperate. The dictionary of legal terms provided in this document can help policymakers, practitioners, and society at large better understand the law and contribute to the effective protection of children in situations of armed conflict.


What function does the glossary serve?

In order to enable effective action and advocacy, the glossary strives to provide a clear and succinct explanation of legal words relating to child protection in armed conflict.

Who will gain from using this glossary?

This vocabulary will be useful to policymakers, field workers, civil society organizations, the media, and anyone else interested in child safety in armed conflicts.

How can the use of this glossary improve child safety?

The dictionary gives stakeholders more knowledge of legal terms and concepts, enabling them to better protect children’s rights during armed conflicts.

Is the glossary a useful tool for decision-making?

Yes, the dictionary gives decision-makers the necessary information to formulate wise decisions and laws to safeguard children in conflict areas.

How can policymakers make effective use of the glossary?

In order to inform their legislative efforts and actions targeted at providing child protection during armed conflicts, policymakers might use the glossary.

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