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The First International Law Cases Concerning the Protection of Children in Times of War in the World

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Chapter Summary

A case concerning the practice of disappearance, and another concerned with torture and executions of children, in the context of war, were parallel for consideration of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Gómez Paquiyauri Brothers case was the first international case concerning the protection of children in the context of an armed conflict to be adjudicated by an international tribunal where the substantive law concerning the rights of the child was examined. In contrast to the Molina Theissen case, here the defendant State denied any responsibility under the American Convention of Human Rights. Unlike most cases coming to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court, the facts of the Gómez Paquiyauri case had been subject to domestic criminal investigations that had led to two convictions. The Inter-American Commission, however, identified a more subtle squema of impunity emerging from the torture and killing of the Gómez Paquiyauri brothers.

Keywords: armed conflict; Gómez Paquiyauri case; Inter-American Court of Human Rights; international law case; Molina Theissen case; protection of children; rights of the child



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