Human Rights Review

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 71–103 | Cite as

When is a child not a child? Child soldiers in international law

  • Claire Breen


International humanitarian law and international human rights law both prohibit the use of child soldiers in armed conflict. The protection afforded to children is problematic because the age a child may become a soldier and what constitutes child “soldiering” fluctuates between States and cultures. Differing levels of children soldiers’ protection leave them vulnerable to particular abuses. This paper examines some different attitudes and approaches towards the use of child soldiers and concludes that international human rights law and international humanitarian law does not adequately protect children.


Supra Note Armed Force State Parti Armed Conflict International Criminal 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Breen

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