Essay on Child Soldiers

694 Words Nov 16th, 2012 3 Pages
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 form of slavery or human trafficking. Although children join armed groups ‘voluntarily’ it often involves coercion, force or deception, or the child may see no other option for survival but to join. The UN and human rights watch estimated that the number of children serving in armed conflicts at between 200 000- 300 000. The UN reported 57 armed groups’ worldwide using child soldiers.
b) Where the human rights issue occurs.
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In addition to these conventions include the convention on the rights of the child (1989), the Rome statute of the international criminal court (2002), the worst forms of child labour convention (1999) and the UN Security Council (2004-2005). An example of these legal responses in action is the Thomas lubanga dyilo case where he was accused of conscripting child soldiers to fight in armed conflict in the DRC during 2002 and 2002. Domestic responses although limited by state sovereignty include the child soldiers accountability act which allowed the US to prosecute individuals domestically who have knowingly recruited or served as child soldiers in or outside the country. Other responses include the amendment of the criminal code act 1995 (cth) where two sections were added to the criminal code to criminalise the use, conscription or enlistment of children as a part of an international or national armed conflict.

Non legal responses:
International responses include;
-the United Nations which monitors the use of child soldiers worldwide
- the international labour organisation and unicef which play a role in research and studies into the status of the problem, providing recommendations to the UN and to member states and promoting the obligations of the treaties on children in armed conflict
- and the coalition to stop the use of child soldiers which compromises many different member organisations with a common

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