'Background Notes' to Country
Studies—Category (A) and Category (B)
Chapter Eight above has already outlined the reasons for placing in this separate Appendix the 'Background Notes' to the 11 selected countries. Before proceeding with these, it is important to acknowledge once more that a few of the 11 selected countries have been strongly criticised for the treatment of children by their armed forces, and some readers may find it frustrating that little mention is made of this in the 'Background Notes'. Again, it must be emphasised this is a very conscious omission. One of the main aims of this book is to encourage national armed forces in general to pay greater attention to training concerning the treatment of children. Criticism in this book of specific armed forces may undermine that aim, and in any event such information can be found in other sources.
The 'Background Notes' will therefore include only basic relevant information on each particular country (since WW II), including pertinent information regarding children. They will deliberately not discuss in any detail the impact on children of the conduct of the pertinent armed forces either at home or abroad, and they will endeavour to be politically neutral. However, footnote references will generally be provided for sources of further information regarding children in relation to the various armed forces under discussion. Also, see 'Concluding Observations' of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (summarised above, Chapter Six), which highlight pertinent concerns of the Committee about some of the selected countries.
Finally, a word of caution: the 'Background Notes' on each country are based on reputable sources, and were checked for accuracy, but nonetheless the author does not claim to be an expert on the history of the 11 selected countries,1 and apologies are made in advance for any inadvertent inaccuracies or political bias.