International legal standards governing the use of child soldiers
Mulira, Dorcas Buteba
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This paper seeks to analyze the international laws governing the use of children in armedconflict. Despite the prohibition of the use of child soldiers in armed conflict in internationallaw, States and non-State actors continue to actively recruit, abduct, and directly use children,some as young as eight, in hostilities. International humanitarian lawÕs limited scope prevents itfrom protecting the worldÕs most vulnerable children, child soldiers, while human rightsinstruments adopted to make up for these limitations lack enforcement mechanisms, thereforerendering the much-needed protection for child soldiers inadequate. As development ofinternational law concerning child soldiers progresses on paper, progress on the ground lagsbehind, thus creating a gap between progress in the law and the enforcement of this law on theground. The international community needs to take steps to bridge this gap so that the practiceon the ground is at par with the law. The term Òuse of child soldiersÓ means recruitment,utilization, and participation of children in armed conflict.