Child Soldiers

Topics: Geneva Conventions, Human rights, War crime Pages: 3 (683 words) Published: November 23, 2012
Child soldiers
a) The nature of the human rights issue
A child soldier is a person under the age of 18 who participates, directly or indirectly, in armed conflicts as part of an armed force or group, in either armed and supporting roles. The use of children in armed conflict is considered to be a form of slavery or human trafficking. Although children join armed groups ‘voluntarily’ it often involves coercion, force or deception, or the child may see no other option for survival but to join. The UN and human rights watch estimated that the number of children serving in armed conflicts at between 200 000- 300 000. The UN reported 57 armed groups’ worldwide using child soldiers. b) Where the human rights issue occurs.

Worldwide conflicts that have involved child soldiers include: * Srilanka
* Uganda
* Colombia
* Myanmar
* Iraq
* Israel
* Palestinian territories
* Sudan
In Uganda more than 30 000 children have been kidnapped to serve as soldiers and slaves my lord’s resistance army (LRA); the boys are forced to loot and burn villages and to torture and kill neighbours; girls are raped or become sex slaves.

c) The legal and non legal responses to child soldiers both include international and domestic responses. Legal responses:
International responses include the Geneva conventions, ‘laws of war’. Which is a series of 4 treaties adopted between 1864 and 1949 to regulate the conduct of armed conflict and attempt to limit its affects. these 4 treaties include; the first Geneva convention (1864) which protects wounded and sick soldiers on land during war, the second Geneva convention (1906) which protects wounded, sick and ship wrecked military personnel at sea during war, the third Geneva convention (1929) which applies to prisoners of war and the fourth Geneva convention (1949) which affords protection to civilians, including occupied territory. Also, additional protocols to the Geneva conventions includes; the problem of...
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