Effectiveness Of Legal And On Legal Responses In Relation To The Use Of Child Soldiers Sydney Boys High School Essay

1258 words - 6 pages

Effectiveness of Legal and on-Legal Responses in Relation to the Use of Child Soldier, in relation to the Sudan People's Liberation Army
For centuries, children have been kidnapped and forced to join military forces with the promise of a better standard of life. Often being between the ages of 12 and 18, these children are too young to fully comprehend the fallacies they are being fed. In the process of becoming a soldier, many of their rights are taken away. They are denied their right to identity when they are given new names and denied their right to freedom of religion when they are subjected to forcible conversion. They lose their right to education and, in the most tragic cases, their right to life. While this crime occurs in most continents of the world, up to half of the World’s child soldiers are found in Africa. In particular, Sudan is home to a large portion of these child soldiers, most of whom belong to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in the south (now the Republic of South Sudan). The SPLA was initially founded as a rebel political movement in 1983 but is now a political party in South Sudan that is led by Salva Kiir Mayardit, who also happens to be the president of South Sudan. Often, the children that are part of this force have capital punishment imposed on them for their crimes even though they were forced to become desensitized at an early age. Unfortunately for these children, the responses to child soldiers act retrospectively. However, depending on how effective the legal and non-legal responses are, we will one day see the eradication of child soldiers from armed forces.
The issue of child soldiers has been a long-standing issue within International law and Sudan’s domestic law. International and Intergovernmental communities/agencies, particularly the United Nations, have taken a vested interest in this horrid crime, releasing numerous conventions, documents and treaties attempting to abolish the use of child soldiers. The most notable treaty is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC), which was adopted on November 20, 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly. The CROC was the first treaty that sought to address the needs of children and to set standards for the protection of their rights, however, did not address the special needs of children involved in conflict. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2002) was a key treaty that aimed to specifically address the rights of child soldiers, with the Optional Protocol created to strengthen the CROC’s ability to protect children’s rights with regards to the issue of child soldiers. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are documents that collectively form the International Bill of Human Rights. The IBHR...

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