Protection of Children and Armed Conflict
Children have become more vulnerable to new tactics of war, including the blurring of lines between military and civilian targets, constriction of humanitarian space and access to affected populations, deliberate targeting of traditional safe havens and critical infrastructures such as educational institutions and medical facilities, and the rise of terrorism as well as counter-terrorism measures.
International humanitarian law provides children protection during armed conflict in two ways. The first is through the general protection IHL gives to all individuals who are hors de combat (outside of combat). The second is through child-specific provisions, such as those affording children particular protection in terms of evacuation measures; assistance, care, and education; detention standards; and family reunification. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2000) provide legal protection for children affected by, among other things, armed conflict.
In recent years, IGOs and NGOs have focused increased attention on—and devoted enhanced resources to—ameliorating the effects of armed conflict on children. Perhaps the most prominent response in this area of law and policy is the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism associated with UN Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005). Another is the prosecution of individuals accused of violating IHL applicable to children, including at the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.More on: UNICEF CRC ICC 1612 ICTY SCSL LWS