University of Minnesota





David Weissbrodt, Joan Fitzpatrick, and Frank Newman
, International Human Rights—Law, Policy, and Process (3d ed. 2001).
 

Supplement to Chapter 3: An Example of Human Rights Treaty Making: Child Soldiers (November 2003).


NOTES:

Further information on U.S. Campaign to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
At: http://www.us-childsoldiers.org (last visited November 10, 2003)

1379 Report by the International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

In November 2001 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1379 which required the UN to prepare a list of all parties who use children as soldiers in armed conflicts on the Security Council agenda in violation of international obligations. In November 2002 the International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers produced a report inspired by Resolution 1379 that names 72 parties to armed conflict that are currently using child soldiers, 25 groups that have recruited children in the past, and 12 governments that currently recruit or use children under 18 in their armed forces. The entire report is available at: http://www.child-soldiers.org. (last visited October 20, 2003)

U.S. Ratification of the Optional Protocol

On June 19, 2002, the U.S. Senate voted to give its advice and consent as to ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The Bush Administration deposited the instrument of ratification for the Child Soldiers Protocol with the U.N. on December 23, 2002. The Protocol entered into force on February 12, 2002, and with regard to the United States one month after the deposit of the U.S. instrument of ratification.

Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 Includes Child Soldiers Language

The Fiscal Year 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FY03) included provisions requiring the annual State Department human rights country reports to include sections on child soldiers.

In accordance with Sec. 683 of the Act, reports on countries receiving security assistance must include “(i) wherever applicable, a description of the nature and extent of the compulsory recruitment and conscription of individuals under the age of 18 by armed forces of the government of the country, government-supported paramilitaries, or other armed groups, the participation of such individuals in such groups, and the nature and extent that such individuals take a direct part in hostilities, (ii) what steps, if any, taken by the government of the country to eliminate such practices, and (iii) such other information related to the use by such government of individuals under the age of 18 as soldiers, as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of State.” (This language amends Section 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. § 2304(b))) similar language in Sec. 683 amends Section 116(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. § 2151n(d))) (Legislative language for bills passed by the U.S. Congress is available at: http://thomas.loc.gov/.)

Press Release, United Nations Security Council, Security Council Calls for Immediate Halt to Use of Child Soldiers, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1460 (2003) (January 30, 2003) at: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/sc7649.doc.htm
(last visited October 20, 2003)

The Security Council this morning called on all parties to armed conflict, who are recruiting or using children in violation of their international obligations, to immediately halt such practices.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1460 (2003), the Council also supported the Secretary-General’s call for “an era of application” of international norms and standards for the protection of children affected by armed conflict. . . .

Today’s meeting followed an open debate held 14 January on the issue, which focused on the Secretary-General's report (document S/2002/1299). That report lists 23 parties to conflicts in the Council’s agenda, including governments and armed groups that continue to recruit or use child soldiers. The conflicts include Afghanistan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Somalia.

By further terms of today’s resolution, the Council also called on the parties identified in the list to provide information on steps they have taken to halt their recruitment or use of children in armed conflict to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit a report by 31 October on the implementation of this resolution and of its resolution 1379 (2001), which would include, among other things, progress made by the parties listed in the Annex of his report in ending the recruitment or use of children in armed conflict and an assessment of violations of rights and abuses of such children.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WORLD REPORT 2002 (2002) at: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k2/contents.html (last visited October 20, 2003)

Special Issues and Campaigns:

Child Soldiers Campaign at: http://www.hrw.org/wr2k2/childsoldiers.html (last visited October 20, 2003)

Global efforts to end the use of child soldiers continued to advance during the year. Following the United Nations’ adoption in May 2000 of a new treaty to end the participation of children under the age of eighteen in armed conflict (an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child), the number of countries signing the treaty grew to eighty-seven, and the number of ratifications increased to ten. Having achieved the ten ratifications needed, the protocol will enter into force on February 12, 2002. The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers continued its campaigning efforts to achieve broad ratification and implementation of the protocol. Coalition members, including national campaigns in many countries, lobbied governments to sign and/or ratify the protocol in advance of the session. Campaign activities in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, and the United States included public education, exhibitions, media campaigns, petition drives, symposia, street theater, children’s demonstrations, marches, meetings with governments, and parliamentary initiatives.

Human Rights Watch’s Main Page for their Child Soldiers Campaign
at: http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/index.htm (last visited October 20, 2003)

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, YOU'LL LEARN NOT TO CRY: CHILD COMBATANTS IN COLOMBIA (2003)
at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/colombia0903/ (last visited October 20, 2003)

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, UGANDA: ABDUCTED AND ABUSED: RENEWED CONFLICT IN NORTHERN UGANDA (2003)
at http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/uganda0703/ (last visited October 20, 2003)

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, MY GUN WAS AS TALL AS ME: CHILD SOLDIERS IN BURMA (2002)
at: http://hrw.org/reports/2002/burma (last visited October 20, 2003)



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