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All European states have ratified the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, [] and so child recruits are not typically used in hostilities until they reach adulthood. Austria invites children to begin their adult compulsory military service one year early, at age 17, with the consent of their parents.

Cyprus invites children to begin their adult compulsory military service two years early, at age 16, with the consent of their parents. During the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine in Justice for Peace at Donbas documented 41 verified individual cases of child recruitment into armed formations. There were 31 further reports of child recruitment which could not be verified.

Against their will

The British armed forces enlist from age 16 and accept applications from children aged 15 years, 7 months. Although the UK normally prohibits deployment to war zones until recruits turn 18, it does not rule out doing so. In , a group of year-old army recruits alleged that 17 instructors had maltreated them during their training over nine days in June The Australian Defence Force allows personnel to enlist with parental consent from the age of Personnel under the age of 18 cannot be deployed overseas or used in direct combat except in extreme circumstances where it is not possible to evacuate them.

As of , the minimum age for joining the New Zealand Defence Force was The military use of children has been common throughout history; only in recent decades has the practice met with informed criticism and concerted efforts to end it. International efforts to limit the participation of children in armed conflict began with the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, adopted in Art.

Efforts were renewed during negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of the Child CRC , when Non-governmental organisations NGOs campaigned for the new treaty to outlaw child recruitment entirely. The treaty prohibits child conscription, ensures that military recruits are no younger than 16, and forbids the use of child recruits in hostilities. The treaty also forbids non-state armed groups from recruiting anyone under the age of 18 for any purpose. After the adoption of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, a campaign for global ratification made swift progress.

In 83 states only allowed adult enlistment, by this had increased to , which is 71 percent of countries with armed forces. Child Soldiers International reports that the success of the OPAC treaty, combined with the gradual decline in child recruitment by state armed forces, has led to a reduction of children in military organisations worldwide. In particular, militant Islamist organisations such as ISIS and Boko Haram , as well as armed groups fighting them, have used children extensively.

Many states which do not allow their armed forces to recruit children have continued to draw criticism for marketing military life to children through the education system, in civic spaces and in popular entertainment such as films and videogames. Child Soldiers International defines reintegration as: Reintegration efforts can become challenging when the child in question has committed war crimes because in these cases stigma and resentment within the community can be exacerbated. In situations such as these, it is important that the child's needs are balanced with a sense of community justice.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Prehistoric Ancient Post-classical Early modern Late modern industrial fourth-gen. Blitzkrieg Deep operation Maneuver Operational manoeuvre group. Military recruitment Conscription Recruit training Military specialism Women in the military Children in the military Transgender people and military service Sexual harassment in the military Conscientious objection Counter recruitment.

Arms industry Materiel Supply chain management. By country or region. History of children in the military.

Impact of war on children. Rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers. Special Court for Sierra Leone. Child soldiers in Africa.

Children in the military

Child soldiers in the Central African Republic. Child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Child suicide bombers in the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. Child soldiers in India.


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UK firm 'employed former child soldiers' as mercenaries in Iraq | Global development | The Guardian

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Britain's 250,000 boy soldiers in World War I

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