Child Soldiers International - Policy Making - Optional Protocol On The Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict

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.

Read more about this topic:  Child Soldiers International, Policy Making

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