The issue about child soldiers

In the DRC, thousands of children have been recruited and used in armed conflicts by armed groups. Sinceaccording to the United Nations Mechanism that is in charge of documenting serious violations against children in armed conflicts[1], no case of recruitment by the FARDC has been documented. On the other hand, armed groups continue to recruit and use children, generating violence that passes from generation to generation.

The issue about child soldiers

There are an estimatedchild soldiers in Africa. This is nearly half the total ofaround the world. In Aprilthere was a meeting in Maputo, Mozambique where a declaration to stop the use of child soldiers was made.

Almost all the required number of countries to put it into effect have ratified it with the hope that it would be one more step to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of children as soldiers in Africa.

What Is a Child?

While it had almost been adopted it failed to disallow the use of children in armed conflicts. This was because Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States were all opposed to the notion which would have prevented children under 18 from being involved in what Amnesty International describe as the most hazardous and exploitative forms of child labor.

However, at the beginning ofafter what Human Rights Watch termed as "the first time the United States has ever agreed to change its practices in order to support a human rights standard", a new accord was achieved banning the use of child combatants.

It took over six years of negotiations, but governments agreed on a treaty establishing eighteen as the minimum age for participating in armed conflicts. The US has usually opposed eighteen as the minimum age, because it has routinely deployed seventeen year-olds to the fields of conflict.

The issue about child soldiers

But other countries still employ children in their military. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has some additional optional protocols, such as the the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflicts.

The issue about child soldiers

The Protocol also clarifies that 18 years is the minimum age for direct participation in hostilities, for compulsory recruitment and for any recruitment by non-governmental armed groups. However, many nations, including wealthy and powerful countries such as UK have contentious issues when it comes to such additional protocols, especially in terms of the use of child combatants.

The Convention defines a child to be anyone under the age of 18 unless national laws indicate otherwise. A report from the International Coalition to Stop the use of Child Soldiers, released Junementions that overall, the situation has improved in areas such as Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle East in recent years, conflict levels have typically decreased though not endedwhile children are at risk in Africa and parts of Asia and the Pacific.Child soldiers a) The nature of the human rights issue A child soldier is a person under the age of 18 who participates, directly or indirectly, in armed conflicts as part of an armed force or group, in either armed and supporting roles.

But child soldiers in this period were essentially an issue in the wars of decolonization. As we have argued before, the increasing use of child soldiers came with the end of the Cold War and the increasing numbers of intra-state wars in the s. Global Issues: Child Soldiers Kate Scheltema CHV Ms.

Moir January 13, Introduction "A child soldier is anyone under the age of 18 who has been recruited or used in hostilities by state armed forces or non-state armed groups.". The Child Soldiers World Index - our authoritative new online resources mapping child recruitment practices worldwide - shows that children have been exploited in at least 18 conflict situations around the world since Child soldiers a) The nature of the human rights issue A child soldier is a person under the age of 18 who participates, directly or indirectly, in armed conflicts as part of an armed force or group, in either armed and supporting roles.

The use of children in armed conflict is considered to be a . “ Child Soldiers Global Report ” (Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers) Most child soldiers are between the ages of 13 and 18, though many groups include children aged 12 and under.

Beah, for example, fought alongside a 7-year-old and an year-old.

Child Soldiers | Human Rights Watch