Journal Article

A Call for State Action to Prevent the Recruitment and Use of Children as Soldiers in State Armed Forces and State Allied Armed Groups

Ilene Cohn

in Journal of Human Rights Practice

Volume 6, issue 1, pages 182-190
Published in print March 2014 | ISSN: 1757-9619
Published online March 2014 | e-ISSN: 1757-9627 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/hut029
A Call for State Action to Prevent the Recruitment and Use of Children as Soldiers in State Armed Forces and State Allied Armed Groups

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This Review Essay conveys the key points made in this thoroughly researched publication by Child Soldiers International on state responsibility to prevent child recruitment and use by state armed forces and state-allied armed groups. The reviewer notes that the lack of data on the affected children themselves limits practitioners' ability to target, prioritize and assess the impact of preventive interventions. The publication calls for legal and policy-related action in all states, regardless of actual or likely risk to children of recruitment or use in hostilities. The reviewer asserts that this approach is suitable for guidance targeting legislative drafters or technical assistance experts tasked to bring domestic law and policy into conformity with international obligations. But child rights advocates and practitioners should prioritize their preventive efforts where children's lives and security are actually in peril or at risk. Lastly, because the focus on preventive measures is so critical and because unfortunately so few interventions have been successful, the reviewer suggests that this publication would have been all the more satisfying had it embraced a slightly broader scope, to cover the responsibility of states to use all possible means (beyond legal) to prevent child recruitment and use by all actors (including non-state armed groups).

Keywords: armed conflict; armed forces; armed groups; child recruitment; child soldiers; prevention

Journal Article.  3978 words. 

Subjects: Ethical Issues and Debates ; Human Rights and Immigration ; Human Rights ; Politics ; Social Movements and Social Change

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