This chapter discusses the international framework relating to children's involvement and association with armed conflict. This takes a number of forms: the treatment of child civilians in armed conflicts; the damaging impact of armed conflicts on children; the recruitment and use of children by state and non-state armed forces; the reintegration of child soldiers into society; and the international criminal justice available for those (including child soldiers themselves) who may have committed 'crimes against humanity' and 'war crimes'. This involves a consideration of both 'international humanitarian law' and 'international human rights law'. This section examines the influences of international humanitarian law, principally the Geneva Conventions of 1949 along with the Additional Protocols of 1977, followed by consideration of the main international human rights instruments relevant to this area, that is, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child along with the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in Armed Conflict (OPAC), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.
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