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13094 Multilateral - Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict


   
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TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 13094
CHILD RIGHTS

Involvement of Children in
Armed Conflict

 

 

 

 

Optional Protocol Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
and OTHER GOVERNMENTS

 

Done at New York May 25, 2000

 

 

 

 



NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”


 

 

 

 


MULTILATERAL

Child Rights: Involvement of Children in
Armed Conflict

Optional Protocol done at New York May 25, 2000;
Transmitted by the President of the United States of America
to the Senate July 25, 2000 (Treaty Doc. 106-37,
106th Congress, 2d Session);
Reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
May 23, 2002 (Senate Executive Report No. 107-4,
107th Congress, 2d Session);
Advice and consent to ratification by the Senate
June 18, 2002;
Ratified by the President September 14, 2002;
Instrument of Ratification deposited December 23, 2002;
Entered into force January 23, 2003.

Optional Protocol to the Convention on
the Rights of the Child
on the involvement of children
in armed conflict
UNITED NATIONS
2000
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
on the involvement of children in armed conflict
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Encouraged by the overwhelming support for the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
demonstrating the widespread commitment that exists to strive for the promotion and protection of
the rights of the child,
Reaffirming that the rights of children require special protection, and calling for continuous
improvement of the situation of children without distinction, as well as for their development and
education in conditions of peace and security,
Disturbed by the harmful and widespread impact of armed conflict on children and the
long-term consequences this has for durable peace, security and development,
Condemning the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict and direct attacks on
objects protected under international law, including places generally having a significant presence
of children, such as schools and hospitals,
Noting the adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court and, in particular, its
inclusion as a war Crime of conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years or using them
to participate actively in hostilities in both international and non-international armed conflicts,
Considering, therefore, that to strengthen further the implementation of rights recognized in
the Convention on the Rights of the Child there is a need to increase the protection of children from
involvement in armed conflict,
Noting that article I of the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies that, for the
purposes of that Convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years unless,
under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier,
Convinced that an optional protocol to the Convention raising the age of possible recruitment
of persons into armed forces and their participation in hostilities will contribute effectively to the
implementation of the principle that the best interests of the child are to be a primary consideration
in all actions concerning children,
Noting that the twenty-sixth international Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in
December 1995 recommended, inter alia, that parties to conflict take every feasible step to ensure
that children under the age of 18 years do not take part in hostilities,
Welcoming the unanimous adoption, in June 1999, of International Labour Organization
Convention No. 182 on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst
Forms of Child Labour, which prohibits, inter alia, forced or compulsory recruitment of children for
use in armed conflict,
Condemning with the gravest concern the recruitment, training and use within and across
national borders of children in hostilities by armed groups distinct from the armed forces of a State,
and recognizing the responsibility of those who recruit, train and use children in this regard,
Recalling the obligation of each party to an armed conflict to abide by the provisions of
international humanitarian law,
Stressing that this Protocol is without prejudice to the purposes and principles contained in
the Charter of the United Nations, including Article 51, and relevant norms of humanitarian law,
Bearing in mind that conditions of peace and security based on full respect of the purposes and
principles contained in the Charter and observance of applicable human rights instruments are
indispensable for the full protection of children, in particular during armed conflicts and foreign
occupation,
Recognizing the special needs of those children who are particularly vulnerable to recruitment
or use in hostilities contrary to this Protocol owing to their economic or social status or gender,
Mindful of the necessity of taking into consideration the economic, social and political root
causes of the involvement of children in armed conflicts,
Convinced of the need to strengthen international cooperation in the implementation of this
Protocol, as well as the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children
who are victims of armed conflict,
Encouraging the participation of the community and, in particular, children and child victims
in the dissemination of informational and educational programmes concerning the implementation
of the Protocol,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed forces
who have not attained the age of 18 years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
Article 2
States Parties shall ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 18 years are not
compulsorily recruited into their armed forces.
Article 3
1. States Parties shall raise the minimum age for the voluntary recruitment of persons into their
national armed forces from that set out in article 38, paragraph 3, of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child, taking account of the principles contained in that article and recognizing that under the
Convention persons under 18 are entitled to special protection.
2. Each State Party shall deposit a binding declaration upon ratification of or accession to this
Protocol that sets forth the minimum age at which it will permit voluntary recruitment into its
national armed forces and a description of the safeguards that it has adopted to ensure that such
recruitment is not forced or coerced.
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3. States Parties that permit voluntary recruitment into their national armed forces under the age
of 18 shall maintain safeguards to ensure, as a minimum, that:
(a) Such recruitment is genuinely voluntary;
(b) Such recruitment is done with the informed consent of the person's parents or legal
guardians;
(c) Such persons are fully informed of the duties involved in such military service;
(d) Such persons provide reliable proof of age prior to acceptance into national military
service.
4. Each State Party may strengthen its declaration at any time by notification to that effect
addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall inform all States Parties. Such
notification shall take effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General.
5. The requirement to raise the age in paragraph 1 of the present article does not apply to schools
operated by or under the control of the armed forces of the States Parties, in keeping with articles
28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Article 4
1. Armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of a State should not, under any
circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18 years.
2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to prevent such recruitment and use, including
the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practices.
3. The application of the present article under this Protocol shall not affect the legal status of any
party to an armed conflict.
Article 5
Nothing in the present Protocol shall be construed as precluding provisions in the law of a
State Party or in international instruments and international humanitarian law that are more
conducive to the realization of the rights of the child.
Article 6
1. Each State Party shall take all necessary legal, administrative and other measures to ensure the
effective implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Protocol within its jurisdiction.
2. States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the present Protocol widely
known and promoted by appropriate means, to adults and children alike.
3. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their jurisdiction
recruited or used in hostilities contrary to this Protocol are demobilized or otherwise released from
service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to these persons all appropriate assistance for
their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.
-3-
Article 7
1. States Parties shall cooperate in the implementation of the present Protocol, including in the
prevention of any activity contrary to the Protocol and in the rehabilitation and social reintegration
of persons who are victims of acts contrary to this Protocol, including through technical cooperation
and financial assistance. Such assistance and cooperation will be undertaken in consultation with
concerned States Parties and relevant international organizations.
2. States Parties in a position to do so shall provide such assistance through existing multilateral,
bilateral or other programmes, or, inter alia, through a voluntary fund established in accordance with
the rules of the General Assembly.
Article 8
1. Each State Party shall submit, within two years following the entry into force of the Protocol
for that State Party, a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child providing comprehensive
information on the measures it has taken to implement the provisions of the Protocol, including the
measures taken to implement the provisions on participation and recruitment.
2. Following the submission of the comprehensive report, each State Party shall include in the
reports they submit to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in accordance with article 44 of the
Convention, any further information with respect to the implementation of the Protocol. Other States
Parties to the Protocol shall submit a report every five years.
3. The Committee on the Rights of the Child may request from States Parties further information
relevant to the implementation of this Protocol.
Article 9
1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State that is a party to the Convention or has
signed it.
2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification and is open to accession by any State.
Instruments of ratification or accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations.
3. The Secretary-General, in his capacity as depositary of the Convention and the Protocol, shall
inform all States Parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the Convention of each
instrument of declaration pursuant to article 13.
Article 10
1. The present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the deposit of the tenth
instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after its entry into force, the
present Protocol shall enter into force one month after the date of the deposit of its own instrument
of ratification or accession.
-4-
Article 11
1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall thereafter inform the other States Parties to the
Convention and all States that have signed the Convention. The denunciation shall take effect one
year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General. If, however, on the expiry
of that year the denouncing State Party is engaged in armed conflict, the denunciation shall not take
effect before the end of the armed conflict.
2. Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing the State Party from its obligations
under the present Protocol in regard to any act that occurs prior to the date on which the denunciation
becomes effective. Nor shall such a denunciation prejudice in any way the continued consideration
of any matter that is already under consideration by the Committee prior to the date on which the
denunciation becomes effective.
Article 12
I. Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to
States Parties, with a request that they indicate whether they favour a conference of States Parties
for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months
from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a
conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United
Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of States Parties present and voting at the conference
shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into
force when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by
a two-thirds majority of States Parties.
3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties that have
accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Protocol and any
earlier amendments that they have accepted.
Article 13
I . The present Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present
Protocol to all States Parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the Convention.
-5-
NOTE: Only English text of Optional Protocol will be printed in this publication.
I hereby certify that the
foregoing text is a true copy of
the Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the
Child on the involvement of
children in armed conflict,
adopted by the General Assembly
of the United Nations on
25 May 2000, the original
of which is deposited with the
Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
Je certifie que le texte qui
precede est une copie conforme du
Protocole facultatif a la Convention
relative aux droits de l'enfant,
concernant l'implication d'enfants
dans les conflits armés, adopté
par l'Assemblée générale des
Nations Unies le 25 mai 2000, et
dont l'original se trouve déposé
auprés du Secrétaire general des
Nations Unies.
For the Secretary-General
The Assistant Secretary-General
in charge
of the Office of Legal Affairs
Pour le Secrétaire général
Le Sous-Secrétaire general
chargé
du Bureau des affaires juridiques
Ralph Zacklin
United Nations, New York Organisation des Nations Unies
1 June 2000 New York, le 1 juin 2000

 

 

 



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