Children's rights : the potential impact of private military and security companies
Christine Bakker and Susanna Greijer
War by contract : human rights, humanitarian law, and private contractors
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011
This chapter examines the potential risks that the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in a conflict or post-conflict situation poses for children, considering the existing norms for the protection of children's rights at the international and EU levels. It specifically considers whether PMSCs may be held accountable for recruiting children or for using them to participate actively in hostilities; and examines which measures PMSCs are required to take if they find themselves confronted with children participating in armed hostilities. The chapter also discusses the strength and limits of the specific instruments for children's rights adopted by the European Union. It concludes that states should ensure full compliance with the existing international rules protecting the rights of children, including by PMSCs. The provision of adequate training for PMSC personnel on these rules and the accountability for violations of children's rights are essential in this regard.