About Geneva Call
In situations of armed conflict, Geneva Call, as a neutral, impartial and independent international humanitarian organization, endeavours to strengthen the respect of humanitarian norms and principles by armed groups and de facto authorities (AGDAs), in order to improve the protection of civilians. Geneva Call has been working on the protection of children and education from the effects of armed conflict since 2010.
Background and rationale
In 2023, the number of civilians living in conflict areas has reached a striking peak in history. It is estimated that a total number of 460 million children worldwide are affected by conflict, displacement, or instability. This is largely explained by the rising number of armed conflicts in 2022: Ukraine, Somalia, Mozambique, and the Sahel region; coupled with the alarming multiplication of armed groups and de facto authorities.
Children, boys and girls, are still disproportionately affected by armed conflict. According to the 2022 SRSG/CAAC report on trends and patterns related to violence and grave violations committed against children, AGDA are responsible for 55% of violations.
Attacks against education also remain at an alarming rate: direct attacks on schools, students, and personnel as well as use of schools for military purposes has increased in 2022. Both state armed forces and armed groups have allegedly committed attacks against education. The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) was able to identify and verify 5000 attacks on education and cases of military use of schools and universities. In addition, the coalition reports that 9000 students and educators were abducted, arbitrarily arrested, injured, or killed.
Multiple sources have reported on the worrying status of education in the Sahel region where over 9000 schools are closed, and millions of children and students are affected or out of schools. Education is largely impacted by the ongoing armed conflict in the region and school closure results from a high rate of direct attacks on schools and school personnel and use of schools by AGDA.
In this context of violence, not only are children facing interrupted education, and becoming direct targets, but they are also at risk of recruitment en route or at school. The protection of education in Central and West Africa remains a priority for all actors, and for children affected and victims of the conflict.
Children affected by armed conflict and violence, and the risks children face living in a society where AGDA operates, is central in this assignment. Many comic books have addressed the reality of child recruitment and use in hostilities by AGDAs, however the unprecedented situation of attacks against education and children in situation of armed conflict will be the focus of the comic book.
The intended assignment will be produced in French by a comic book writer from Burkina Faso. In the future, if resources allow, the publication may be translated in other languages such as Moré, which is the main local dialect in Burkina Faso, or in English to reach other neighboring countries such as Nigeria.
The main objective of the consultancy is to produce a comic book in French on the challenges of the protection of education and children in Burkina Faso,with particular attention to the respect of humanitarian norms and principles: international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and other political and policy commitments such as the Safe Schools Declaration. The direct primary target group of the comic book will be children, teachers, school staff, and the community. The indirect secondary target group will be AGDA.
The comic book will serve two purposes:
- Operations: Dissemination of the comic book through local civil society organisations, including in schools, to raise awareness and inform children, teachers and the community on their righs, the risks they face, and AGDA obligations towards respecting the school environment, the continuation of education, protecting children, and not using the schools for military purposes.
- Advocacy: Presentation and dissemination of the comic book at high level events to raise awareness about the protection of education and challenges in the Sahel region.
Structure and methodology
The work of the consultant will be supported by Geneva Call’s headquarters thematic experts and Geneva Call’s field mission in Burkina Faso. Based on content provided by Geneva Call and a literature review (reports, research and studies, policy papers), the consultant will propose the focus and structure of the comic book on the protection of education. The following themes may be considered:
- Attacks on schools, school personnel, and children
- Military use of schools by AGDAs
- Recruitment of children by AGDAs en route or at school
- Impact of attacks against schools
- Interrupted education, out of school children: a lost generation
- AGDA obligations to protect education
To support the development of the comic book’s plot, the consultant will also have access to Geneva Call staff (headquarters and field mission in Burkina Faso), community leaders, and civil society organisations. Interviews will be facilitated by Geneva Call to support the collection of data contributing to the plot of the comic book.
While all propositions will be welcomed, Geneva Call will appreciate a child-friendly creative story told by a community leader. The plot should inform children but also provide substantive knowledge to AGDAs. In addition to this, cultural and religious norms and references are key to ensure that the comic book can be appreciated by all stakeholders and parties to the conflict.
Expected deliverables and timeline
- Structure and plot: 15 October 2023
- Draft version of the comic book: 30 November 2023
- Final version of the comic book: 12 January 2024
- General report on the comic book consultancy process (2 pages): 30 January 2024
- Presence at dissemination events to be determined: 2024
Any references from previous comic book collaborations and accessible previous comic book projects will support the application.
 Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict
 The six grave violations against children are: recruitment and use, killing and maiming, abduction, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access
 Education Under Attack, GCPEA, 2022
How to apply
- Technical offer: submit a technical proposal with the suggested approach to the comic book: writing and drawing with a set of illustrations, and a tentative plot sample
- Financial offer: submit a financial offer in line with the technical offer. The anticipated budget for the consultancy is CHF 20’000