Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in International Law: Prohibition and Elimination
The Paris Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups (2007) define a “child associated with an armed force or armed group” as “any person below 18 years of age who is or who has been recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, messengers, spies or for sexual purposes. It does not only refer to a child who is taking or has taken a direct part in hostilities.”
This definition builds upon an earlier definition of “child soldier” in the Cape Town Principles and Best Practices on the Prevention of Recruitment of Children into the Armed Forces and on Demobilization and Social Reintegration of Child Soldiers in Africa (1997).
It should be noted that the age threshold of 18 years and the scope of child soldiers’ participation in...
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