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Webinar | Handover Protocols for the Transfer of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups, Including CAAFAG in Detention

The Alliance

Find the Concept Note for this event here

Thousands of children in situations of armed conflict are doubly victimized: first, at the hands of armed groups or forces that recruit and use them in their ranks, and then by parties to the conflict who detain them for their alleged association with those groups or forces. Many of these children never receive the reintegration support and services they need.

Handover protocols are agreements by governments or armed groups to swiftly transfer children allegedly associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG) in their custody, or whom they have encountered, to child protection actors for appropriate support services, including, but not limited to, reintegration assistance.

Handover protocols are an explicit recognition by states and, at times, armed groups, that CAAFAG are first and foremost victims of grave human rights and humanitarian law violations. They offer CAAFAG a safe avenue to leave armed forces and armed groups and receive the care, protection, and reintegration support they need. As a practical matter, handover protocols also systematize and standardize the process of transfer of CAAFAG, as well as strengthen coordination and cooperation between security, civilian, and child protection actors, particularly during security operations. They are an especially useful tool for promoting the release of CAAFAG in detention.

In March 2022, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist), the Alliance, and its CAAFAG Task Force will publish an operational guidance on negotiating and implementing handover protocols. The operational guidance aims to support the signing and implementation of handoverm protocols by providing child protection actors with good practices, lessons learned, and other useful information on previous and ongoing negotiations and implementation processes in various countries. It seeks to support child protection actors to initiate and strategically navigate handover protocol negotiations, to promote the release of CAAFAG in detention and improve standards for their prosecution, to strengthen the implementation of handover agreements, and to safeguard children at every stage of handover.


  • Welcome Remarks: Ms. Camilla Jones, The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (5 mins)
  • Presentation of the Operational Guidance: Ms. Janine Morna, Research Consultant, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (15 mins)
  • Case Study on Mali: Ms. Solange Vasse, Chief Child Protection, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (10 mins)


  • Ms. Adrianne Lapar, Director, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict

Read the Operational Guidance on Negotiating and Implementing Handover Protocols for the Transfer of
Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups here

For additional background, please see:

Language of webinar
Children associated with armed forces and armed groups
Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR)
Children affected by armed conflict
Children and armed conflict