Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Children: From Proscription to Prevention

Mark A. Drumbl

in Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199592654
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738807 | DOI:
Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Children: From Proscription to Prevention

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What is the lawful age of recruitment into state armed forces, into irregular armed groups distinct from the state, and for active participation in hostilities? Which sanctions arise for adults who engage in prohibited practices? Which sanctions arise for states? This chapter considers international law (settled, emergent, and aspirational), best practices, and influential policy frameworks. It argues that the practice of child soldiering is simply not reducible to the deviance of sociopathic adult recruiters or conflict entrepreneurs. It is not epiphenomenal to their malevolence. Nor is children's involvement in fighting forces entirely aleatory, to wit, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The child soldier is not foundationally hapless. Effective deterrence of child soldiering hinges upon ferreting out its many contributory variables. International criminal law, after all, can only do so much.

Keywords: child soldiering; child soldiers; international law; criminal law

Chapter.  17537 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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