Part I(A)(1)—Law and Policy: Content
of Rules Relevant to Officer Training
Regarding Children—Child Civilians
Having summarised, in Chapter Two, certain fundamental IHL and human rights provisions relevant to the training of officers of national armed forces as regards children (and others), more detailed measures will now be considered, starting with those concerning child civilians.
It is worth emphasising first that, under IHL, child civilians are entitled to protection: a) as members of the civilian population generally; b) as children, due to their particular vulnerability within the civilian population, and c) as child civilians in specific categories (eg enemy aliens) if they qualify as such. The information below will be presented under these three sub-headings.
* As regards civilians generally, the fundamental principle in IHL is that civilians in the power of a party to the conflict are to be respected and protected in all circumstances, and treated humanely.1
Under the 1949 GC IV (Article 27),2 this concept entails wide-ranging obliga-
tions including, inter alia, respect for 'their persons, their honour, their family
rights' and protection from acts or threats of violence, insults and public curi-
osity, as well as 'any attack on the honour' of women. (The term 'women' here
includes 'girls' under the age of 18.)3
* Measures should also be taken to minimise harm to civilians in or near the theatre of military operations.
1977 GP I contains a number of civilian protection measures which are
generally part of customary law but were not included in 1949 GC IV, and which
are designed to safeguard civilians who are in the theatre of military operations.