Children born of war often do not have a voice as they are either too young to voice it or because they are often forgotten by policy makers around the world. The CBOW Project is engaged in various advocacy projects in order to change this. Through our advocacy interventions at national and international levels, we aim to achieve that the interests of children born will be heard and translated into effective policies. 

Recent examples of our interventions include a UN Statement we submitted to the UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva in February-March 2021. In our statement, we called on the UN to routinely acknowledge the existence of children born of war and their needs in any case of conflict-related sexual violence. Specifically, we demanded changes of Iraqi laws that would be critical for the integration of children born of war within the Yazidi community. Regarding children born of war within the Rohingya community, we demanded that they be better protected from the imminent abuse and violence against this particularly vulnerable group in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. 

A report on the specific situation of children born of war within the Rohingya community was published in 2020 with our support.

Further, we had the honour to be invited to a high-level event with the UN Representatives on the situation of children born of war within the Rohingya community. This group of Rohingya victims of the 2017 genocide is thus far not being considered in many international and civil society interventions helping the Rohingya. This made our conversation with the Special Rapporteur of Myanmar, Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, Mama Fatima Singhateh, Special Rapporteur on human trafficking, Siobhan Mullaly, all the more important. We are grateful that as a follow-up to this conversation, the CBOW Project was invited to submit expertise on the threats of abuse and trafficking that children born of war face. 

Check out more of our advocacy activities below…

Expert Roundtable on Children Born of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Breaking Down Barriers to the Rights to Identity and Nationality

27 June 2023, Geneva

Last month, CBOW Project Managing Director and Chairwoman, Ingvill Constanze Ødegaard, participated in a roundtable event, hosted by Global Survivors Fund (GSF), which included diverse stakeholders from humanitarian, transitional justice and child protection sectors, as well as civil society representatives, victim/survivor activists, academics and a range of UN bodies. The mission was to create a solution-oriented roundtable focusing on breaking down barriers for children born of CRSV accessing their rights to identity and nationality.

From GSF: ‘A lack of legal identity may prevent children born of CRSV  from accessing their right to reparations, and under international law, victims of CRSV, including child survivors and children born of CRSV, have a right to a remedy and reparation for the harms they have suffered. Yet, victims often face many obstacles in seeking access to reparation. For children born of CRSV, such barriers often stem from their difficulties in accessing their right to a legal identity. In addition, reparations programmes may require beneficiaries to be identified as victims of CRSV. However, governments do not always include children born of CRSV as a category of victims eligible for reparations. Therefore, raising awareness and building a greater understanding of the legal, administrative, social, financial and other barriers preventing children born of CRSV from accessing their rights to a legal identity and nationality is critical for facilitating their equal access to other rights, including their right to reparation.’

As part of its own commitments under the Platform for Action on Children Born of CRSV, of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), Prof. Ødegaard represented the CBOW Project, giving a key address on the evidence to date on needs and outcomes of children born of war, and specifically children born of CRSV, and presenting the vision of our foundation for the future; a  (virtual) CBOW hub that will facilitate systematic collaboration and information sharing, prevent siloes and ensure the rights and needs of CBOW are at the centre of evidence, advocacy, training and policy efforts from researchers, survivor organisations, CBOW organisations, governments, courts and non-governmental organisations.

CBOW Project has endorsed the ‘Call to Action’ and ‘Platform for Action’ on Children Born of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

1 November 2022

The Children Born of War Project on November 1st 2022 endorsed the Call to Action and committed to all priorities in the Platform for Action which are:

Priority One: Building Evidence and Understanding on Children Born of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence 

Priority Two: Promoting Effective Laws, Policies & Practices

Priority Three: Empowering Children Born of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and Advocating With/on Behalf of Them

Priority Four: Focusing on the most vulnerable children

The Children Born of War Project has officially endorsed the Call to Action and committed to the all priorities under the Platform for Action.

For questions regarding the commitments of the CBOW project in the respective areas or if you need support in aligning your CBOW related activities to the priorities, please contact us.

Oslo Conference: “Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises”

23-24 May 2019, Oslo

In May 2019 the international conference “Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises” took place in Oslo, Norway. The conference was hosted by Norway, Iraq, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, UN OCHA, UNFPA, ICRC and other partners. It was the first time the Children Born of War were addressed at a donor meeting. Board member Ingvill C. Ødegaard (formerly Mochmann) was invited to give an overview on major topics and stat-of-the art knowledge on children born of war at the session “Forced motherhood and children born of war”.