From norms to action 28 November 2019 18:00 - 20:00

War and the Children Left Behind

30 Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and 70 years of the Geneva Conventions.

On 28 November 2019 the ICRC held a public event addressing the situation of children in today's armed conflicts and reflecting on what should be done to ensure better protection of children's rights.


About the event

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ICRC invited members of the public to join at this event addressing the situation of children in today's armed conflicts and reflecting on what should be done to ensure that their rights are better protected.

At this occasion, the recent documentary film Child War Reporters (french-only) was screened, presenting stories of children whose lives have been disrupted by armed conflict. Entrusted with a camera, children collected testimonies of other wounded children in hospitals and those who lost their parents to war. Constructed like a tale, with no images of violence, this deeply moving documentary shows the cruel reality of war through the eyes of children.

Though the film focuses on the specific case of Yemeni children, it portrays the overall consequences and the effects of war as experienced by children independently from their particular context. With its strong and moving message, this documentary kickstarted and illustrated the theme of the event.

Following the screening, panelists spoke about the main challenges faced by children during armed conflict, and also explained how these are a consequence of the lack of compliance with existing legal frameworks – in particular international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) – that protect children's rights. The documentary director, Khadija Al-Salami was part of the panel.

The discussion included an exchange with the public.

Panellists and Moderator:

  • Khadija Al-Salami, Documentary Director - Child War Reporters
  • Dr Robert Doya Nanima, Lecturer, University of the Western Cape, consultant for the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
  • Prof Gilles Carbonnier, Vice-President, ICRC
  • Dr Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC (Moderator)
  • Vanessa Murphy, Legal Advisor on Children, ICRC

Also at the Humanitarium

Until 30 April 2020, discover more about the ICRC's historic child protection activities in the new exhibition Pages - marking 150 years of the International Review of the Red Cross, and the journal's contribution towards disseminating progress in international law related to armed conflict, and innovation in humanitarian response.

Date & Time

28 November 2019 18:00 - 20:00

Venue address

17 avenue de la paix, 1202 Geneva