Program Officer sought for project on accountability for crimes against children

Conflict Dynamics International, a Massachusetts-based nongovernmental organization established in 2004, welcomes applications for a Program Officer to work on project relating to accountability for violations committed against children in armed conflict. The multiyear project, on which I am honored to serve as an advisor, is now in its second year. It is described as follows:

This initiatiCDI_logo_regve builds on CDI’s previous work in this area and aims to contribute substantially to the achievement of effective accountability for these violations through national and international mechanisms. CDI is developing a conceptual and practical framework aimed at practitioners working on accountability in the CAC context. Through this initiative CDI will also develop several other related resources that will provide guidance and technical support to practitioners.

As detailed in this complete job notice, duties of this full-time Program Officer will include communications and publications, fundraising and grant management, and monitoring. Sought is someone with inter alia a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience in relevant fields; working knowledge of French or Arabic is desirable.

Deadline for applications is soon: September 12, 2014. Details on job duties and desired qualifications, and on how to apply, here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

In World War I video, timeless scenes of armed conflict’s tragic consequences

refugeechildrenww1Seldom do we see footage made during the 20th C.’s 1st global conflict. That fact makes especially valuable these images, from a 3-minute video of scenes from World War I, which began 100 years ago this summer and continued for another 4 years thereafter.medalgirlww1



As one might expect, the video includes battle scenes, trench warfare, aerial combat, and torpedoes fired at sea. There are images of bombed-out homes and bereft refugees, evidence of war’s effects refugeecoldww1on civilians. And as these screenshots indicate, there are scenes of children and war: Children made to play the part of soldiers. Children stunted by starvation. Child refugees, shivering in an unsheltered winter. childrenww1

Kudos to European Film Gateway and the United Nations for this sad reminder of how little some things change.


(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Scholarship on children & law sought for annual AALS meeting, January 2015 in D.C.

aalsLogoThere’s much of interest in the just-published newsletter of the Section on Children and the Law of the Association of American Law Schools. Not the least is the recent election of: Cynthia Godsoe of Brooklyn Law, Chair; Jim Dwyer of William & Mary Law, Chair-Elect; Annette Appell of Washington U.-St. Louis Law, Secretary (not to mention superb newsletter editor); and Meg Annitto of Charlotte Law, Treasurer.

Also of interest are the 2 panels (each of which involves invitations issued to AALS members) that the section will sponsor during the AALS 2015 Annual Meeting set for January 2-5 in Washington, D.C.:

Dead Upon Birth: The Inter-Generational Cycle of Thwarted Lives in America’s Poorest Neighborhoods, 2-3:45 p.m. Sunday, January 4. One speaker is being sought via a call for papers, with submissions due August 15, via e-mail to, with “CFP submission” in the subject line. Already scheduled as speakers are Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law, Josh Gupta-Kagan of South Carolina Law, and Jim Dwyer of William & Mary Law; moderating will be Cynthia Godsoe of Brooklyn Law. On the panel, organizers write:

‘“The D.U.B.” is a nickname southside Chicago residents have given a neighborhood exemplifying a tragic reality in many of this country’s urban and rural areas: Children are born into struggling families in deeply dysfunctional neighborhoods and have little chance for full and flourishing lives. In some parts of America, a boy born today is more likely to end up in prison than college and a girl is more likely to become drug addicted than married. Many parents keep young children in “lockdown” at home when they are not in school, to shield them for as long as possible from gang recruitment and gun crossfire. This panel will discuss the economic, political, and cultural causes of concentrated poverty, crime, and disease and alternative strategies for sparing children from it. Panelists will address, from a child-centered perspective, issues such as “neighborhood effect” on child development, state response to parental incapacity, housing policy, relocation programs, foster care and adoption, inadequate education, school disciplinary policies, access to healthcare, employment opportunities, substance abuse and mental illness, criminal law enforcement and incarceration, and societal responsibility for the circumstances in which children live.’

► Junior-Scholar Works-in-Progress Workshop, 5:15-6:30 p.m. Saturday, January 3. Organizers write:

‘The idea is to give junior faculty who are writing on children’s issues an opportunity to present a current project at the annual meeting but in a relatively informal setting, so they can get more experience presenting their work and helpful feedback.’

The Section welcomes, from untenured faculty, submissions of full or partial drafts of papers not yet accepted for publication, and from tenured faculty, indications of willingness to serve as commentators on the selected papers. E-mail, with “CFP submission” in the subject line, no later than the end of August.

Details for all Section events and calls here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Child Rights Convention turns 25: Papers sought for November Leiden conference

ul_logoWith the Convention on the Rights of Children reaching its quarter-century mark on November 20 of this year, the Department of Child Law of the Netherlands’ Leiden University is preparing to host a conference looking back and forward at the global state of children’s rights. Entitled “25 Years CRC,” it will be held November 17 to 19, 2014, at the university’s Leiden campus.

Organizers from several universities welcome paper proposals for the conference, from “international academics and professionals working in the field of children’s rights and related fields,” on subjects pertaining to conference sessions.

On November 18, the conference will address the theme “The implications of the CRC after 25 years.” Organizing this day’s sessions will be: Ton Liefaard and Mariëlle Bruning, Leiden University; Jaap E. Doek, former Chair of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child; Jacqui Gallinetti, Head of Research at Plan International; Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork, Ireland; and Wouter Vandenhole, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Breakout session topics will address:

► Embedding the CRC at the domestic level – the jurisprudential ‘value added’
► Embedding children’s rights as a vehicle for tertiary and post school studies
► Interdisciplinarity and children’s rights
► Monitoring children’s rights – international and domestic mechanisms
► Visibility of children – children’s participation and enforcement of their rights
► Juvenile justice

On November 19, discussion will turn to the theme “New frontiers of children’s rights for the future.” Organizing this day’s sessions will be: Julia Sloth-Nielsen and Simone van der Hof, Leiden University; Karin Arts, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; Karl Hanson, Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch, Sion, Switzerland; Andrew Mawson, Chief of child protection, UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti; Gary Melton, Clemson University, South Carolina; and Benyam Mezmur, Chair of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and Vice-chair of U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child. Breakout session topics will include:

► Child protection systems
► Children and the global development agenda
► Children’s rights and the digital era
► Research for 2040
► The interrelationship between children’s rights and the broader human rights system
► Children’s rights and migration

Descriptions of each session, as well as registration fees and other details, are available in the full call for papers here. (Full conference website is here.) Abstracts of no more than 300 words are due no later than April 1, 2014.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Children’s rights: Focus of 2d annual summer course @ Leiden Law School

headerright“Frontiers of Children’s Rights” is the title of this year’s 2d annual summer course on international children’s rights, to be held July 7 to 11, 2014, in the Dutch cities of Leiden and The Hague. Sponsoring the course are Leiden Law School and its Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies. (Prior post.)

Organizers again this year are 2 Leiden Law experts: Dr. Ton Liefaard, who holds the UNICEF chair, and Dr. Julia Sloth-Nielsen, Professor of Children’s Rights in the Developing World. Other academics and practitioners in the field will round out the faculty for the week-long program, which will include a visit to the International Criminal Court. (By way of example, last year’s full program is here.)

Deadline for application is May 1. Details on the course, fees, and scholarship opportunities here.

With South Sudan vote, US (again) will stand (virtually) alone on children’s rights

southsudanSouth Sudan appears poised to ratify the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. The South Sudan Parliament approved a ratification bill yesterday (not coincidentally, Universal Children’s Day, so named to commemorate the adoption of the Convention on November 20, 1989, as well as the approval of a precursor Declaration on November 20, 1959). The bill awaits signature by the president of the country – since 2011, the newest member of the United Nations.

Completion of that process will return matters to where they stood in 2005, when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy referred in Roper v. Simmons, a judgment outlawing the juvenile death penalty, to the

‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which every country in the world has ratified save for the United States and Somalia’

Then as now, Somalia lacks a strong central government, a fact that effectively leaves the United States standing alone.

usflagWhy the opposition? Factors compiled in “Why won’t American ratify the UN convention on children’s rights?”, an Economist article published last month, include claims that ratification “would usurp American sovereignty,” “undermine parents’ authority, particularly over religious and sex education,” and “provoke lawsuits demanding that the government pay” costs to improve children’s lot. Evidence of such concerns surfaced at p. 120 of a July/August essay in Foreign Affairs, which decried a 2002 Committee on the Rights of the Child recommendation (¶ 11) that Britain work to allocate funds and resources toward adequate implementation of obligations it undertook by joining the Convention. One also discerned such concerns earlier this month, in between the lines of questions that Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (pp. 42-43) and Justice Antonin Scalia (pp. 31-32) posed during oral argument of Bond v. United States, a U.S. treaty-power case.

Undercutting those concerns is the fact that most Convention rights are already guaranteed by U.S. law (though not all, as the Economist points out) – not to mention the fact that nonratification weakens U.S. efforts to advocate globally for child rights. The fate of the newest effort to secure U.S. ratification of the disabilities treaty (prior post) may signal whether such facts have traction in contemporary U.S. politics.

(Cross-posted in Diane Marie Amann)

On the Job! Opportunity to serve as advocate for children in armed conflict

watchlistWatch List on Children in Armed Conflict welcomes applications for the position of Advocacy Officer.

Founded a dozen years ago, the New York-based nongovernmental organization that works on behalf of children in and affected by armed conflict through monitoring and reporting, through support of local groups, and through offering policy advice to U.N. entities working on the subject. It keeps track of developments in a dozen countries, from A (Afghanistan) to U (Uganda), and is the producer of the award-nominated smartphone app (icon below). The NGO’s publications include monthly updates on the issue as it plays out at the Security Council and elsewhere in the United Nations.

The new Advocacy Officer will be expected to promote these goals via a range of activities and duties. The successful applicant will have at least a master’s degree and 5 years’ work experience in relevant areas.children-in-armed-conflict-180

Applicant requirements and application details regarding this full-time position here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)

Children/armed conflict & more @ International Law Weekend-NYC

AbilaLooking forward to taking part next month in a panel on children and armed conflict as part of International Law Weekend, the annual gathering in New York of international law practitioners, professors, and students. This year’s ILW will be held on October 24 at the House of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 42 West 44th Street, and October 25 and 26 at Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62d Street. Primary sponsors are the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students Association.

The session entitled “Accounting for Children Affected by Armed Conflicts” will be at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 25. Here’s the description:

‘Despite the international community’s increasing focus on assigning individual responsibility for violations of international law in armed conflict settings, insufficient attention is paid to the children affected by such conflicts. This panel brings together distinguished experts for a moderated dialogue that will assess both current and alternative approaches to securing the rights and well-being of children affected by armed conflict. The dialogue will incorporate relevant perspectives from international human rights law, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law.’

Joining me on that panel, to be moderated by George State Law Professor Jonathan Todres, the children’s rights expert who chairs the Section on Children and the Law of the Association of American Law Schools, will be:

lzLeila Zerrougui (right), a longtime human rights lawyer who serves as the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Yesterday Zerrougui – recently returned from a mission to Syria and surrounding countries to which Syrian children and their families have fled – gave an update on issues related to children and armed conflict to the Human Rights Council during its session at U.N. headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mark A. Drumbl, Washington & Lee University Law Professor and author of Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law & Policy (2012), a must-read on the subject.

Mark and I are just two of many IntLawGrrls contributors scheduled to take part in panels during the 3-day event. As detailed in the full program, others include: Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor, International Criminal  Court; Karen E. Bravo, Indiana-Indianapolis; Elizabeth Burleson, Pace; Valerie Epps, Suffolk, and an ABILA Vice President; Molly Land, New York Law; Hope Lewis, Northeastern; Stephanie Ortoleva, WomenEnabled; Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University, and an ABILA Vice President; Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall; Jennifer Trahan, New York University; and Beth Van Schaack, U.S. State Department.

Panels will cover a range of issues in public and private international law. Among the many topics that caught my eye: another panel on children, entitled “The Globalization of Child Rights and Remedies”; the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty; cyberwarfare; the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; the inter-American human rights system; the Draft Convention for the Prevent and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity; head-of-state prosecutions at the International Criminal Court; the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law project; trials against suspected terrorists; and a host of careers panels.

imagesKudos to David Stewart (Georgetown), ABILA President-Elect, who helped organize mine and others’ panels, as well as other IntLawGrrls active in the leadership of sponsoring organizations – with ABILA, Kelly Dawn Askin (Open Society Justice Initiative), Andrea K. Bjorklund (McGill), Susan Tiefenbrun (Thomas Jefferson), and Ruth Wedgwood (Johns Hopkins); and with ILSA, Stephanie Farrior (Vermont) and Kaitlin Ball, my student at Georgia Law and this year’s ILSA Student President.

Details and registration here; full program here.

(Cross-posted from Diane Marie Amann)