INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORKS ON CHILD SOLDIERS PROTECTION

Maryam Kandi-Dayeni, Navid Mollaee

Abstract


Tens of thousands of children are recruited and used as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world. The recruitment and use of children during conflict is one of the six grave violations identified and condemned by the UN Security Council. Children affected by armed conflict can be injured or killed, internally displaced or refugees, orphaned or separated from their parents and families, subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation, victims of trauma as a result of being exposed to violence, deprived of education and recreation, at risk of becoming child soldiers. This paper examines the use of children as soldiers in armed conflict and the various international legal frameworks governing their use. The legal basis discussed in this paper encompasses three categories; a) International humanitarian law and customary international law; b) International jurisprudence relevant to international criminal law especially case law of the International Criminal Tribunals and international criminal court; c) International human rights law and different bodies of united nations including resolutions of security council. The paper ends with conclusions in two parts; The good results and the bad ones. The good news is that most states and some non-state armed groups now recognize the harm that recruiting children causes. Between 2001 and 2016, the number of countries restricting their military to adults has grown from 83 to 126, which is 71 percent of states with armed forces. The bad news is that some armed forces and groups still insist that they need children to fill their ranks. Every year, the UN Secretary-General publishes a “list of shame” showing which state and non-state armed groups recruit and use children. On the 2016 list are the armed forces of seven countries. Finally, there are some recommendations to reduce the harm caused to children by military recruitment.


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