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Course E044: Children in War and Armed Conflicts

29 October-9 December 2014 (E04414) | Register for this course (page opens in new window)
Instructor: Annabel Trapp

Armed conflicts around the world continue to expose many millions of children to inexcusable forms of violence, including abduction, rape, mutilation, forced displacement and sexual exploitation. In some contexts, children often taken on active roles in conflict, forced to participate either to carry weapons as combatants or to assume auxiliary roles. The breakdown of social protection that occurs during every armed conflict leaves all children vulnerable. Many children are threatened with separation from their families, orphaning, disability and serious, long-term psychosocial consequences; girls are especially at risk of unwanted pregnancy.

This certificate course examines the effect of armed conflict on children in the 21st century. It looks at the various ways in which children are involved in conflicts and the substantial impact that they can have on children's mental and physical well-being. The course highlights concrete actions that can be taken to contribute to the full implementation of children's rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts, including through the application of humanitarian law; and the increasing ways in which perpetrators can be held to account.

This e-learning course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, interaction with students and the instructors on discussion boards, quizzes and webinars with invited guests. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Changing nature of conflict
Week 2: Responsibility to children in times of conflict
Week 3: Children associated with armed forces and groups
Week 4: Impact of conflict on children
Week 5: Rehabilitation and reintegration of children affected by armed conflict
Week 6: Justice for children and the role of children in transitional justice

About the instructor

Annabel Trapp has extensive experience working in child rights and advocacy, with particular focus on children affected by armed conflict. She has been working as Child Rights and Advocacy Coordinator at War Child Holland since 2009. In this position she works closely with teams in conflict and post-conflict settings in Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Central and South Asia to strengthen and support child rights and advocacy programming. Annabel holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Who should apply

The course is intended for humanitarian and human rights officers, human rights staff of NGOs,  international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and intergovernmental and government agencies, children's advocates, university students of international law, international relations, politics and other areas, practitioners who want to learn about children's rights and children in armed conflict. The course is also intended for staff members of UN specialised agencies who want to learn more about children's issues in the context of armed conflict and war. Participants should have at least basic knowledge of human rights. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. The number of participants is limited to 25 per course. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575; tuition for auditors: US$ 215. Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available.

There is a limited number of (partial) scholarships available for this course through HREA's Scholarship Fund.


Register for this course (page opens in new window). Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. There is no registration deadline, but please be aware that courses generally fill up quickly!

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