International Law concerning Child Civilians in Armed Conflict

International Law concerning Child Civilians in Armed Conflict

International Law concerning Child Civilians in Armed Conflict

International Law concerning Child Civilians in Armed Conflict

Synopsis

Each year, many thousands of child civilians are killed, injured, or otherwise physically and psychologically harmed as a result of armed conflicts. There is a considerable body of international law which aims to minimise the harm inflicted on these children, and yet it is little known, or observed. This book is the first major international legal text to focus exclusively on child civilians. It addresses three main questions: (1) what are the precise rules incorporated in the pertinent body of law, and what are its implementation mechanisms? (2) how effective is it (with reference to recent conflicts involving Iraq) in helping to achieve some protection for child civilians? and (3) can it be rendered more effective? The book concludes by proposing a number of strategies to strengthen the impact of the applicable law. As the first detailed analysis of the surprisingly large body of law relevant to the treatment of child civilians, this book is an important contribution to a topical and highly charged human rights issue.

Excerpt

For a number of reasons, this book had to be converted fairly quickly from the Ph.D thesis on which it was based. Despite my efforts, it may therefore be rather doctrinal in style, and I apologise for this.

In writing on this subject I did from time to time feel constrained and frustrated by the strait-jacket of legal concepts and terminology, which seemed so remote from the devastating reality that is the experience of children in armed conflict. It was important to me constantly to bear in mind that reality, and a sense of the law as a tool in that wider context. I hope the readers of this book will find it possible to do the same.

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