The international campaign to prohibit child soldiers : a critical evaluation
Host item entries:
The international journal of human rights, Vol. 15, no. 7, October 2011, p. 1072-1090
The use of child soldiers has been universally condemned as abhorrent and inhumane and has been declared a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 1998, (ICC) and the Optional Protocol 2000. Yet over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of children have fought and died in conflicts around the world. In 2006, the UN estimated that more than 300,000 children were actively involved in armed conflict. Given this, in an historic moment in the prosecution of child soldiering, on March 17, 2006, Thomas Lubanga was the first person arrested under warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes against children, charged with enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years to participate in hostilities in the mineral rich, North Eastern Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between September 2002 and August 2003. The major finding of this article is that there is an abject lack of international support for the major international instruments prohibiting child soldiering, especially by the United States, China and Russia; that many demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration programmes (DDR) face a serious lack of funding, with many girl soldiers falling outside DDR programmes and that the current minimum age of 15 is too low. This article recommends that an international summit be convened and all relevant international instruments be amended to set a new minimum age of 18 for voluntary recruitment, 21 for active combat service and a new international commitment to be made to prohibit and prevent the use of child soldiers.
By entering this website, you consent to the use of technologies, such as cookies and analytics, to customise content, advertising and provide social media features. This will be used to analyse traffic to the website, allowing us to understand visitor preferences and improving our services. Learn more