Child Soldiers Assignment

Topics: Human rights, Armed forces, Law Pages: 5 (1553 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Child Soldiers
* Violates Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 25:
a) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. b) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. Although significant progress has been made in children’s rights in the last century, many children today have their basic human rights violated Estimates suggest that as many as 300,000 or more child soldiers are active in conflicts around the world. 40% of armed forces (including national armies, militias, gangs, terrorist organizations and resistance forces) in the world use children. Child soldiers have been used by armed groups in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. “Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul” – Dave Pelzer BBC – Child Soldier

Anna Kari BBC News
* In Uganda, child soldiers who escape their captors are brought to a rehabilitation centre in Gulu, where Anna Kari photographed their life and spoke to one of the boys. - This first sentence provides insight to the interesting news to come in the article. * BBC have located interesting knowledge about what happens to soldiers after they escape id they ever do. The former child soldiers or soldier in this case, provide the journalist with inside information on what their lives were like in the camp. By the journalist retrieving this information and showing it in this article they are providing the public with useful information for them to better their knowledge about the soldiers. * It creates more talk about child soldiers and more public awareness which is one key feature of making a change. International Law

The internationally agreed definition for a child associated with an armed force or armed group (child soldier) is any person below 18 years of age who is, or who has been, recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, messengers, spies or for sexual purposes. It does not only refer to a child who is taking or has taken a direct part in hostilities. (Paris Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups, 2007.) This violates the accepted international rules of war which is defined as a war crime. Until 1998, no convention provided for the crime of child recruitment. Therefore the only avenue under international law for prosecuting offences committed before that time was if customary international law had criminalised it. The continued use of child combatants affronts the underlying human ideals that motivated the creation of these laws … [and] illustrates the international community’s failure to protect the world’s children.

— A B Abbott (2000, 520)
Legal Responses – International
* The Geneva Conventions were a series of four treaties adopted between 1864 to 1949 to regulate the conduct of armed conflict. However it was not until 1977 that the issue of child soldiers was first raised. * The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which is one of the most important international human rights treaties states the minimum age of recruitment to 15, and discourages recruitment of children under18. It also creates obligations to minimalise harm to all children during armed conflicts. * The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) established a permanent court to try persons charged with international crimes. Recruiting...
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