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Scope of the Optional Protocol

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Chapter Summary

The 2000 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts extends the protection provided for by Article 38 of the CRC. Child rights advocates sought for many years to raise the minimum age for recruitment and participation in hostilities from 15 to 18 years. The reporting guidelines of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Optional Protocol may provide some guidance. In the past, some scholars considered recruitment to cover compulsory as well as voluntary enrolment in the armed forces, while others limited its meaning to compulsory recruitment. As far as the Optional Protocol is concerned, this discussion loses its significance. Article 4(2) concerns the prevention of the recruitment and use of under18s by non-governmental armed groups. Article 10 deals with the entry into force of the Optional Protocol as such and for each State Party.

Keywords: armed conflicts; Child rights; CRC; Optional Protocol; State party



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