Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict as War Crime under International Law : Current School News

The Use of Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict as War Crime under International Law

Filed in Current Projects, Law Project Topics by on August 2, 2021

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The Use of Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict as War Crime under International Law.

ABSTRACT  

This dissertation entitled “The Use of Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict as War Crime under International Law” is premised on an appraisal of the legality of the atrocities visited upon children during armed conflicts, especially as coerced active participants. This is approached from the perspective of the menace being a form of child abuse and exploitation of such children, and how international justice combats such illegality and impunity to the justice of their commanders and recruiters.

Despite a catalog of laws – both national and international– which prohibits and protects against the illegal use of children as active participants in armed conflicts, it is sadly observed that children find themselves forced into different armed conflicts all over the world. The illegal use of child soldiers has

negative effects on both the children and the society at large. Apart from causing deaths and injuries, this menace depletes the society of its real resource and future – children.

The purpose of this study, therefore, includes among other things, enhancing access to appropriate information and knowledge about the protection of the fundamental human rights of children during armed conflicts, and how the law de-mystifies the aura of impunity to the justice of their recruiters and commanders. This also entails an appraisal of the level of culpability or otherwise of child soldiers in the commission of grave crimes during armed conflicts. Our study revealed that this menace is a problem of both developed and developing countries of the world, though at varying levels. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page — — — — — — — i
Declaration — — — — — — — ii
Certification — — — — — — — iii
Dedication — — — — — — — iv
Acknowledgements — — — — — — — v
Table of Cases — — — — — — — vii
Table of Statutes — — — — — — — ix
Abbreviations — — — — — — — xi
Table of Contents — — — — — — — xiii
Abstract — — — — — — — xv

Chapter One
1.0. Background — — — — — — — 1
1.1. Statement of the Research Problem — — — 2
1.2. Objectives of the Research — — — — 3
1.3. Significance of the Study — — — — — 3
1.4. Scope of the Research — — — — — 4
1.5. Research Methodology — — — — — — 4
1.6. Literature Review — — — — — — 5
1.7. Structure of the Thesis — — — — — 10

Chapter Two
2.0. Exploitation of Children and War Crimes — — 11
2.1. Child Abuse and Exploitation — — — — 12
2.2. Nature and Concept of Crime — — — — 20

Chapter Three
3.0. Nature of Child Combatants — — — — — 29
3.1. Concept of Child Combatants — — — — 30
3.2. Recruitment of Child Soldiers — — — — — 35

Chapter Four
4.0. Responsibility for War Crimes — — — — 43
4.1. Universal and Complementary Jurisdictions — — 44
4.2. Criminal Liability and Accountability — — — 60
4.3. Individual Criminal Responsibility — — — — 67

Chapter Five
5.0. Conclusion — — — — — — — — 79
5.1. Observations and Recommendations — — — — 80
5.2. Conclusion — — — — — — — — 84
Appendix — — — — — — — — 86
Bibliography — — — — — — — 93

BACKGROUND  

Armed conflicts with devastating effects have been part of mankind since time immemorial and these days, there are easily accessible light weapons and even more destructive weapons, leaving a large number of the wounded, maimed, and dead in their wake. Children all over the world constitute the largest and most powerless members of society and; it used to be assumed that adults had the best interests of children at heart and there was no need to think in terms of children’s rights or their protection.

This idealized perception of the adult-child relationship ignored the grim realities of our world today. It is virtually impossible to watch international television stations like Cable News Network (CNN) or British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) without hearing or seeing the sufferings of children in one part of the world or the other. On these international television stations, the glares of child soldiers with their oversize ‘AK-47’ weapons from war-torn countries, call out to the world to end these endless and senseless wars.

Luckily, Nigeria has not experienced these horrors although she had had to contend with refugees from war-torn countries, faced her own various communal, ethnic, and sectarian clashes. The Niger Delta insurgency readily comes to mind; and in all these situations, the people who are most affected are the innocent children. It is children who are increasingly becoming the principal victims of hostilities and acts of violence perpetrated in the course of armed conflicts.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aguda, A., Okagbue, I., Principles of Criminal Liability in Nigerian Law, Heinemann,
Ibadan (1990)
Ayua, I.A.,Okagbue, I.E., (eds.), The Rights of the Child in Nigeria, NIALS
Research Series 2, Lagos (1996)
Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th ed., London (2004)
British Medical Association, The Medical Profession & Human Rights, Zed Books,
London (2001)
Claphan, A., Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors, Oxford University
Press, Oxford (2006)
Chukkol, K.S., The Law of Crimes in Nigeria, Zaria (1988)
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, The Use of Children as Soldiers in
Africa, 1st ed., Geneva (1999)
Cohn, I., Goodwin-Gill, G.S., Child Soldiers: The Role of Children in Armed Conflicts,
Clarendon Press, Oxford (1994)
Doctors Without Borders, World in Crises, Routledge, London (1997)
De Mulinen, F., Handbook on the Law of War For Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva(1987)

CSN Team.

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