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Child Soldiers

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Chapter Summary

The issue of child soldiers can be examined from a number of perspectives. It can be contextualized, as it is in C 182, as one of the worst forms of child labor. It can also be seen as part of a wider international humanitarian law concern with children caught up in the effects of armed conflicts. The question of child soldiers has become a pressing issue for international law because of the evolution of armed conflict in recent years. The African Charter was the first international law instrument to set 18 as the minimum age for recruitment and use of children in armed forces. The involvement of the Security Council in the child soldiers debate has been identified as a factor that contributed to the eventual success of the negotiations for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Optional Protocol.

Keywords: African Charter; armed conflict; child soldiers; Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Optional Protocol; international humanitarian law



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