Military Training and Children in Armed Conflict: Law, Policy, and Practice

By Jenny Kuper | Go to book overview
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Appendix 1
Captured Child Soldiers in Non-
International and in International
Armed Conflict1

The information set out below, as previously mentioned (Chapter Four), differs from the rest of this text in that it separately considers rules applicable in international and non-international armed conflict, and contains more detail than would generally be required for military training or reference purposes. However, in some instances officers may require training or guidance on some of the more detailed rules set out in this Appendix.


Detained Children in Non-International Armed Conflict

The general rules already outlined regarding conditions of detention and due process (in text, Chapters Three and Four) form a minimum standard which largely continues to apply to detained children in non-international armed conflicts. In many ways those general rules, drawn primarily from the 1989 CRC and international human rights instruments, provide more protection than the rules to be considered below, which are based in IHL and apply specifically to children in nonintemational armed conflict.

* In non-international armed conflict, IHL provides merely that 'a detained child participant remains subject to the local law; there is no prisoner of war status, and no category of protected persons or civilian internee from which to benefit'.2

Thus children can find themselves facing criminal charges under domestic law for their actions committed in the course of the conflict.

* The manner in which the domestic law applies must be modified to take account of the child's age and circumstances (in accordance with, inter alia, 1989 CRC principles). Basic IHL principles relating to detained persons in non-international armed conflict (as set out in Common Article 3 of the 1949 GCs, and Article 4 of 1977 GP II) must also be taken into account. A guiding norm here is that all 'per-

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