Hold perpetrators to account and bring them to justice

Recent Save the Children statistics show that 420 million children live in conflict-ridden areas today. The vulnerability of children is exacerbated in a conflict context in so far as they are prone to be victims of the hostilities and the targets of specific crimes, such as sexual violence and forced conscription. States are under stringent obligations under international law to prosecute individuals accused of serious human rights violations affecting children.

Investigative and judicial accountability mechanisms, such as the United Nations mandated international commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions, and investigative teams supporting national jurisdictions as well as international criminal tribunals and the International Criminal Court, have been set up and have investigated and/or prosecuted and adjudicated international crimes against children. While acknowledging the considerable efforts of these mechanisms in the development of practices, policies, and a strong body of jurisprudence on the matter, international crimes against children are still not systematically investigated by these mechanisms nor prosecuted.

Senior international judges will be joined by world-famous campaigners for justice to discuss what it will take to ensure that perpetrators face justice for their crimes against children. Panelists will discuss developments in international law (legal standards and jurisprudence) on international crimes against children, and challenges related to the adjudication of such crimes. In particular, the panelists will have the opportunity to reflect on the successes of existing accountability mechanisms, including the development of international legal standards and practices, and on the investigative and political impediments to the prosecution of such crimes.