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Child Soldier Recruitment in International Law
Örebro University, Department of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Children have become integral parts of both organized military units and non-military units, with Africa considered to be at the epicentre of the child soldier phenomenon. An estimated 300,000 children are currently serving in both governmental armed forces and armed opposition groups, in direct contravention of international law. The recruitment and the use of children under the age of 15 years to participate actively in hostilities is prohibited according to customary international law.

The Rome Statute identifies ‘war crimes’ as crimes which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction to prosecute. One of such crimes is ‘Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities’. The ICC is expected to be quite instrumental by bringing the violators of these children’s rights to justice. This study aims to systematize the international legal framework in regards to child soldier recruitment. It will also highlight obstacles to the ICC in it’s ambition to prosecute violators of such crimes. This study further aims to lay emphasis on the necessity for the balance of recognised rights of sovereign nations against the greater need for international justice. A specific look at two cases involving countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa currently in the investigative and trial phases before the ICC is given in the study; the situation in Uganda and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In advocating the need for a more functional prosecutorial framework for the ICC, this thesis attempts to suggest some enforcement mechanisms. The principal obstacles to the effectiveness of the ICC will always be Realpolitik and States’ interests. It is argued that the structure of the ICC may be too weak, and that it lacks necessary jurisdiction or the ability to indict the perpetrators of international law. The jurisdiction of the Court is subjected to several preconditions, which considerably narrows down its ambit of functionality. The ICC should therefore advocate the need for an efficient national legal system and encourage national action and promote anti-impunity measures. The International Community, through the auspices of the ICC, must be given a clearer and more forceful mandate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , p. 62
Keywords [en]
Child Soldiers, International Criminal Court (ICC), Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-1913ISRN: ORU-BSR/RÄT-D--08/0054--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-1913DiVA, id: diva2:135638
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
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Available from: 2008-03-10 Created: 2008-03-10 Last updated: 2017-10-18

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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