Optional Protocol On The Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
In 1998, the coalition played a critical role during the conception of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, an amendment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is a United Nations treaty that dictates international standards for children's rights in political, social, and cultural areas, among others. The Optional Protocol amendment called for signatories to ensure that members of their armed forces under 18 years of age were not compulsorily recruited nor made to take direct part in hostilities.
Several countries in the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which had been formed to draft the treaty, were in staunch disagreement over the 18 year minimum age for participation in combat. To incite them to action, six NGOs united to form the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and together, they launched a global campaign that generated international support and put political pressure on the working group to finish drafting the protocol.
The Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict was enforced in February 2002 and later signed by more than 120 nations. The CSUCS has since been working closely with other human rights NGOs to convince the remaining 61 countries to ratify the treaty. To do so, the coalition is employing a multifaceted strategy: encouraging people to write to the ambassadors of these countries, publishing more research and analyses on youth in armed conflict, and lobbying for the immediate demobilization of all child soldiers.
Famous quotes containing the words armed, conflict, children, optional and/or involvement:
“Superstition, bigotry and prejudice, ghosts though they are, cling tenaciously to life; they are shades armed with tooth and claw. They must be grappled with unceasingly, for it is a fateful part of human destiny that it is condemned to wage perpetual war against ghosts. A shade is not easily taken by the throat and destroyed.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)
“Two principles, according to the Settembrinian cosmogony, were in perpetual conflict for possession of the world: force and justice, tyranny and freedom, superstition and knowledge; the law of permanence and the law of change, of ceaseless fermentation issuing in progress. One might call the first the Asiatic, the second the European principle.”
—Thomas Mann (18751955)
“O life of this our Spring! why fades the lotus of the water?
Why fade these children of the Spring,born but to smile and fall?”
—William Blake (17571827)
“Our father presents an optional set of rhythms and responses for us to connect to. As a second home base, he makes it safer to roam. With him as an allya loveit is safer, too, to show that were mad when were mad at our mother. We can hate and not be abandoned, hate and still love.”
—Judith Viorst (20th century)
“Not only do our wives need support, but our children need our deep involvement in their lives. If this period [the early years] of primitive needs and primitive caretaking passes without us, it is lost forever. We can be involved in other ways, but never again on this profoundly intimate level.”
—Augustus Y. Napier (20th century)