This article considers the question of criminal liability for training child soldiers. None of the legal instruments prohibiting recruitment and use of child soldiers expressly relates to training child soldiers. This raises the question, on the one hand, whether a trainer can be held liable for training as a distinct offence from recruiting or using child soldiers. On the other hand, it raises the question whether a trainer is necessarily liable for recruitment or use of child soldiers. In an attempt to answer these questions, this article highlights the distinct factual and legal differences between recruitment, training and use of child soldiers. This exercise demonstrates that the law is not clear on the criminal liability of a trainer especially if the trainer is not factually involved in recruitment or use of child soldiers. The article concludes that the express clarification of the nature and extent of criminal liability for training child soldiers will improve the legal regimes for the protection of children in armed conflict.
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